Through the plea, the union was seeking permission to travel to work in Mumbai by local trains, metro trains, and monorail services.
As COVID-19 cases are still spreading, the existing restrictions on travelling in Indian Railways’ local trains, metro trains as well as monorails in the city of Mumbai cannot be relaxed at this juncture, the state government of Maharashtra told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday. Maharashtra government’s counsel PP Kakade told a Bombay High Court’s bench of Justices Abhay Ahuja and KK Tated that at present, only frontline health workers and employees of state government are allowed to travel on the suburban trains, monorail, and metro trains. According to a PTI report, the bench was hearing a plea filed by the CBEU (Cooperative Banks Employees Union). Through the plea, the union was seeking permission to travel to work in Mumbai by local trains, metro trains, and monorail services.
The union’s counsel AS Peerzada requested the Bombay High Court to allow the cooperative banks’ staff to board trains to enable them to discharge necessary banking services. According to Peerzada, even during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020, Indian Railways and state authorities had permitted all cooperative as well as private bank officials to travel by local trains, monorail and metro trains. Even now, staff of nationalized bank are allowed to use local train services, Peerzada added.
However, Kakade stated that during the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff of nationalized banks was currently not allowed to use local train services. Novel coronavirus infections in the state of Maharashtra are still spreading. Thus, trains cannot be opened for anyone else right now, he said.
The Bombay HC bench also noted the petitioner had not produced any documentary evidence in order to show that nationalized banks’ staff is allowed to use local train services and dismissed the plea. However, the High Court permitted the CBEU to again approach the court if it could produce documentary proof to show the employees of nationalized bank are allowed to travel in local trains.