The Bombay High Court Bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni on Friday heard PILs seeking the inclusion of lawyers in the list of essential service providers who are allowed to travel in Mumbai local trains amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Maharashtra..The Court has stated that the lawyers from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region may be allowed to use the Mumbai local trains for a week, on an experimental basis. The Court added that detailed directions on this count would be specified in its order, which is yet to be released. .In an earlier hearing, the Court had, on a pilot basis, allowed the use of local trains by lawyers seeking to appear physically before the Principal Bench of the High Court. .Use of local trains to commute for physical hearings: Bombay HC issues directions for lawyers to apply for permits on experimental basis.During the course of hearings on Friday, the Court clarified that they are hearing this petition in the interest of all citizens and not just lawyers..The Court has suggested that the State think of staggered timings for all sectors of employment that have now been opened up to avoid over-crowding of trains during a particular time of the day..The Court also asked the State to think for the long term while taking decisions pertaining to the travel of citizens..The Bench has directed Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to ensure that there is ministerial level intervention when it comes to making these policies in order to ensure effective implementation. There was also a suggestion to involve all stakeholders who would be affected by the final policy decision and to consider holistic suggestions..Advocate General Kumbhakoni raised concern on Friday that citizens were not strictly complying with basic guidelines imposed by the State, including maintaining social distance and wearing masks. .He added that the State was willing to increase the number of trains necessary to accommodate the rising number of employees who will have to travel for work in sectors opened up during the phase-wise lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown..However, the State has not taken such steps so far because it was trying not to over-burden their medical care facilities.."The State was acting as parens patriae to its citizens", Advocate General Kumbhakoni added..The Court reminded the AG that it is the job of the State to impose strictures if they believe people are not following the guidelines. .Senior Advocate Dr Milind Sathe, Advocates AM Saraogi and A Anturkar pointed out that lawyers who attend courts were presently using private vehicles and taxis, which was turning out to be expensive. .The counsels went on to argue that the traffic following the use of train services would not be as much as anticipated by the State even if all lawyers choose to travel by train..Ultimately, the Chief Justice suggested that the State consider introducing regulations similar to those issued for the use of Kolkata Metro services. He added that if all departments were to work together, they can come up with solutions..The matter is expected to be listed next week for the Court to examine the results of the one week experiment.