Bank staff can’t take local trains, metro; curbs to continue: Maharashtra to HC

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that bank employees are not allowed to use local trains at the current stage of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state government's lawyer said that existing restrictions on travel in local trains, metro trains and monorails in Mumbai cannot be relaxed in view of a surge in Covid cases and the same will continue until further orders.

The state added that only frontline health workers and state government staff are allowed to use suburban local trains to avoid crowding as per 'break the chain' restrictions.

A division bench of Justice K K Tated and Justice Abhay Ahuja was hearing a plea filed by Cooperative Banks Employees Union (CBEU) seeking permission for cooperative bank employees to travel to work by public transport including local trains, metro and monororders

Government Pleader Priyabhushan P Kakade, however, clarified that even the staff of nationalised banks were not allowed to use local trains and that current restrictions on travelling in local trains will continue until further orders.

Refusing the plea, the HC said that CBEU, if it can come up with documentary evidence to establish permission to nationalised bank staff to travel on trains, can approach the court again.

A division bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta is likely to hear on Wednesday the PILs filed by lawyers' associations seeking directions to the state to consider practising advocates as essential service providers and permit them to travel by local trains for professional purpose.