The Bombay High Court on Friday has observed that the state’s ban on cast and crew members above 65 years of age from attending film sets during the Covid-19 pandemic is discriminatory.
The bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Riyaz Chagla was hearing a petition filed by 70-year-old actor Pramod Pandey, challenging the guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government on May 30, according to which no cast or crew member above the age of 65 years is allowed at film and television shooting sets.
The bench has directed the state government to file an affidavit explaining the “data, statistics, or reports” for issuing the prohibitory orders.
Pandey argued that he was physically fit, but the state was restraining him from working based on his age.
The lawyer appearing for the state government, however, submitted that the guidelines issued by the state government was not discriminatory, because there were similar guidelines issued by the Central and state governments which restrained elderly people from stepping out except under exceptional circumstances.
The bench then questioned the state whether it had imposed similar restrictions on elderly people from resuming other professional work to which the state counsel said that they had not.
On Tuesday the Court had asked the state how a physically fit person, above 65 years of age, was expected to live a dignified life if he was not allowed to go out and earn his livelihood.
The matter has been listed for final hearing next week.
– India Legal Bureau
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