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first_imgNews UpdatesInclusion Of ‘Sale Of Books’ As Essential Service During COVID: Plea Moved Before The Bombay High Court Sparsh Upadhyay27 April 2021 2:08 AMShare This – xA Plea has been moved before the Bombay High Court seeking inclusion of ‘sale of books’ as an essential service under the Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968. The Plea has been moved by ‘Marathi Prakashak Parishad’, which is an association of Marathi publishers, though Advocates Asim Sarode, Purva Bora & Ajinkya Udane and it has impleaded Union of India and State of Maharashtra as respondent parties. Underscoring that the lockdown was adversely affecting Marathi and other languages book publishing industries, the plea submits that ‘Books’ are not in the list of essential service even when the books are an integral part of exercising Right to Education hence distributing and selling books becomes an important educational service. Importantly, the plea states, “During Corona Virus lockdown some petitions were filed and entertained by the Courts, demanding availability of alcohol during lockdown period and on this background many socially motivated citizens and the Petitioner wondered why such a petition is not filed on demanding to make books available during the lockdown.” The plea has averred that the process of reading books reduces stress and takes our mind off from problems for at least a little while and that books provide food for thoughts. “As we consider ‘food’ is an essential element, it is time to consider books which provides ‘food for thoughts’ also as essential service,” adds the plea. The Petition had clarified that it was being filed in the backdrop COVID and the lockdown, and thus, the Petitioners thus requests the Court to consider the demand of declaring selling books as an essential service for all times because without books exercising Right to Life and freedom of expression which includes quality of life will be meaningless. Lockdown like situations increases mental health issues and excessive screen time just worsen it more. In such times of crisis, people need something which will keep them going and positive so they can survive through all. Prayers of the plea Books may be declared as an integral part to exercise the right to life with human dignity and freedom of expression.Central Government may be directed to add sale of ‘books’ as an essential service in the section 2(1) (a) (ix) of the Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968.The state of Maharashtra may be directed to see if some decision can be taken in the same manner as the Kerala Government did regarding recognizing Books as essential and selling books as an essential service.TagsSale of Books Essential Services Bombay High Court Inclusion Of Next Storylast_img read more

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