Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Kamalkishor Tated and Abhay Ahuja was on Tuesday informed that the existing restrictions on travelling in local trains, metro and monorails in Mumbai won't be relaxed at this stage as COVID-19 cases are still spreading.
Acting government pleader Priyabhushan Kakade apprised the bench of the fact that only Frontline health workers and the state government employees are allowed to travel via local trains, metro or monorails in the city.
The submission was made in response to the petition filed by the Cooperative Banks Employees Union (CBEU) seeking directives to the state to allow them to travel via local trains, metro, and monorail services, to their work.
Advocate A S Peerzada for CBEU told the bench that his clients were allowed to board local trains last year, when there was a full lockdown. He argued that his clients are performing essential banking services.
Peerzada further said that the employees of nationalised banks are presently being allowed to travel in these modes of transport. And thus, employees of cooperative banks as well as private banks should also be allowed to travel in local trains.
At this, Kakade informed the bench that only government employees are being allowed and not the ones of nationalised banks.
"COVID-19 infections in the state are still spreading. We can't open the trains for anyone else right now," he said.
Meanwhile, another petition was mentioned wherein advocate K R Tiwari urged the bench to allow advocates to travel in local trains. He said that last year the advocates were allowed to travel in local trains to go to the courts.
However, additional government pleader Jyoti Chavan told the judges that the situation then was different as cases then were less than what the city is recording presently.
"Save and except essential service providers no one else can be allowed at present," Chavan submitted.
The judges accordingly refused to entertain the matter at this stage and granted liberty to the petitioners to approach Chief Justice Dipankar Datta's bench for similar relief.