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Consider card for those fully vaccinated to allow travel by local trains: HC to govt.

Bench was hearing pleas seeking nod for lawyers, journalists to commute by trains

The Bombay High Court on Thursday suggested that the Maharashtra government consider a common card to identify those fully vaccinated and allow them to travel by local trains.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a bunch of public interest litigation petitions seeking permission for lawyers, court staff and journalists to commute by local trains.

Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the court that the State Disaster Management Authority would issue a letter based on which the Railways would issue passes for those fully vaccinated, permitting them to take the local train.

The court then said, “One-third of the population is still susceptible to the virus. Then, this one-third population should be separated from the two-third, or from the fully vaccinated. At least provide them with a card identifying them as fully vaccinated. You can have a common card that can be used as an ID for everything allowed for the fully vaccinated, even foreign travel.”

The Bench went on to say, “As we celebrate the country’s independence on the 15th, let us hope on 16th we will get independence from all these issues too [restrictions on travel, trade imposed in the State in view of the pandemic]. You can’t compare Mumbai with any other city in this State. Its complexion is totally different. It is a city with special needs, so why not constitute an expert committee to consider local train travel, other social issues so that citizens are not forced to approach the High Court for everything. Let the State machinery be geared up to tackle these different issues affecting your citizens.”

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