Maharashtra government allows lawyers to travel on Mumbai’s local trains during non-peak hours till November 23; railway board nod likely on FridayUpdated: Oct 23, 2020, 00:23 IST
In a major relief to the city’s lawyers, the state government on Thursday allowed them to travel on suburban local trains during non-peak hours as per the directions of the Bombay high court (HC). The permission issued by the disaster management department has stated that the arrangement is on an experimental basis till November 23, and only lawyers affiliated to the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa as well as their registered clerks will be able to avail the facility.
However, railway authorities have not yet received the railway board’s nod to permit lawyers to travel on trains. The board is likely to give its nod on Friday.
On Thursday, Kishore Raje Nimbalkar, secretary of the state disaster management, relief and rehabilitation department, passed an order and noted that lawyers and registered clerks would be permitted to take trains only during non-peak hours – before 8am and between 11am to 4pm and post -7pm on working days.
The order further stated that monthly passes would not be issued to the lawyers, and they would have to buy one-way tickets after showing the identity card issued to them by the Bar Council. The order also stipulates that the lawyers would have to wear the badge provided by the Bar Council at a prominent place on their attire. The order concluded with a warning that strict disciplinary action will be taken by the HC or the Bar Council against those found violating the rules.
The state government, while expressing its inclination to allow lawyers to travel on local trains, had said that it would contemplate on the modalities to ensure that the facility was not misused.
The order will permit around 2,000 lawyers practicing in HC and various subordinate courts to travel on local trains by following Covid-19 protocols.
On Monday, the division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni had directed the state to consider the application of lawyers seeking permission to travel on local trains, within a day. It had also said that its previous orders to avail e-pass for lawyers on an experimental basis would be continued, so that they are able to travel by local trains and attend hearings before the HC and subordinate courts in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) till November 6.