‘Can’t Turn a Nelson’s Eye to Contribution of Journalists During the Pandemic’ – PIL in Bombay High Court Seeks Local Train Travel of Journalists
By- Arshita Anand
In the case of Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh v. State of Maharashtra, former being a journalist association, has filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Maharashtra Government to classify journalists as essential workers and allow them travel through local trains.
Advocate Sudha Dwivedi states that given that the journalists have already been declared as front line workers in twelve states, Maharashtra Government not following the same seems unreasonable.
He also says that the work of the journalists were more significant during these pandemic times as citizens became more reliant on journalists and news media for accurate information during lockdown, viz information on the Government’s policies on travel, vaccination, medical supplies etc.
As such, the association urges the government to treat them like front line workers. The petition highlights the fact that several journalists come from modest backgrounds and live in Mumbai’s suburbs. The plea entails how the Mumbai local is the affordable option for the journalists to travel locally and is thus necessary for them.
“Without even thinking of diminishing the importance of the frontline workers, such as health-care, police, clean-up related personnel amongst others, the journalists and media in general, have played equally important role to which one ay not turn a Nelson eye. This must be the reason as to why, to the best of the petitioner’s knowledge, 12 States so far have already declared journalists as ‘frontline workers’”
Thus, the petitioner pleaded before the court to ‘allow the journalists and other staff in the media industry, especially in the City of Mumbai, to avail the suburban train services’.