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Decision On Local Train Travel For Unvaccinated By Feb 25 – Maharashtra Govt To Bombay High Court

Sharmeen Hakim
22 Feb 2022 1:07 PM GMT
Decision On Local Train Travel For Unvaccinated By Feb 25 – Maharashtra Govt To Bombay High Court
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The Maharashtra Government informed the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that it will take a final decision on permitting local train travel for unvaccinated persons by February 25, 2022. While the State agreed to withdraw circulars & SOPs of July 15 & August 10 and 11, last year, it assured the bench that it would review subsequent circulars with similar curbs. "We hope and...

The Maharashtra Government informed the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that it will take a final decision on permitting local train travel for unvaccinated persons by February 25, 2022.

While the State agreed to withdraw circulars & SOPs of July 15 & August 10 and 11, last year, it assured the bench that it would review subsequent circulars with similar curbs.

"We hope and trust that in keeping view of present situation committee will take well informed decision because certain illegal decisions brazenly violated fundamental rights," Chief Justice Dipankar Datta observed.

The court further observed that orders passed by the former Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte without deliberation with other members of the State Executive Committee (SEC) are in breach of the state Disaster Management Act.

The bench of CJ Datta and Justice MS Karnik was hearing two PILs seeking to set aside certain circulars and an SOP prohibiting those who haven't taken both doses of Covid-19 vaccine from travelling by the local train.

Yesterday, the court had asked the state to take a final decision on withdrawing contentious decisions.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Senior Advocate Anil Anturkar read out a communication addressed to him by the Chief Secretary Debasish Chakraborty.

"Mr Anturkar contended that having regard to the spirit of observations this bench made in the course of debate, it has been decided by SEC to meet on February 25 for purpose of review all orders in light of discussions in court and asses the factual Covid status and various directions, letters of central government and task force to promulgate new comprehensive directives superseding of all previous orders.

The current CS is firmly of the belief that the fresh decision to be taken by SEC on 25th Feb will be in tune with the letter and spirit of observations of this court," the bench noted in its order.

During the hearing the bench also sought to know from Anturkar if subsequent circulars with curbs were passed by the CS in consultation with the SEC. "They were ratified," came the reply.

"Leave aside members of public, every time we used to have review meeting of administrative judges, we were guided by these orders," the Chief observed.

The petitions are filed by activist Feroze Mithiborewala and Yohan Tengra, member of the Awaken India Movement.

They alleged that the Circulars discriminate against those who haven't taken the vaccine and are thus violative of Article 14 (equality ), 19 (freedom of speech and expression) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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