Bombay High Court: A Division Bench of S.J. Kathawalla and R.I Chagla, JJ., asked State of Maharashtra to file their response on the following:
“how a physically fit persons who is 65 years or above is expected to live a dignified life if he is not allowed to go out and earn his livelihood?”
Petitioner sought quashment of the condition appearing in Government Guidelines dated 30-05-2020 stating that “Any cast/crew members above the age of 65 years will not be allowed at the site.”
Petitioner submitted that he does not have any other source of livelihood and is solely dependent on such jobs in the film studios. Though he is physically fit, he is not allowed to go to the studios and participate in shooting for earning his livelihood.
He additionally submits that if he is prevented from participating in any of the activities during the shootings, he won’t be able to survive with dignity and self respect.
Advocate appearing for the State had informed the Court that the guidelines also provides that when possible, castings should be done remotely via Facetime, Zoom, Skype, etc.
“…actors performing small roles are required to go to the studios and request for work to enable them to have their two meals, and no Producer/Director is going to shoot their role via Facetime, Zoom, Skype etc.”
Bench in view of the above, directed the respondents to interalia file its affidavit explaining how a physically fit persons who is 65 years or above is expected to live a dignified life if he is not allowed to go out and earn his livelihood.
Following are the questions on which the respondents shall set out their response in the affidavit:
Whether any data/reports/statistics were taken into consideration before issuing the impugned Guidelines restraining any cast/crew members above the age of 65 years from attending the studios/shooting sites;
Whether a similar rule is made applicable to individuals who are 65 years and above and are travelling by trains/buses/aircrafts etc.;
Whether a similar rule is made applicable to the employers/staff who are currently attending shops/private offices;
Whether a similar rule is made applicable to the individuals (approximately 30) who are allowed to attend funerals or marriage reception/s etc.
Matter to be listed on 24-07-2020. [Pramod Pandey v. State of Maharashtra, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 818 , decided on 21-07-2020]