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Excluding Senior Citizens From Film Sets Not Discrimantory Says Maharashtra Goverment
The 70-year-old petitioner said he was doing small roles in films and TV serials for four decades, and that he does not have any other source of livelihood.
Excluding Senior Citizens From Film Sets Not Discriminatory Says Maharashtra Government
New Delhi: The decision to exclude persons above 65 years of age from attending shooting on the film and television sets was not to discriminated against them and was taken in the general interest of such people, says the government of Maharashtra to Bombay High Court.
However, the government also said that no data or statistics were taken into consideration while prohibiting those above the age of 65 onsets of films and TV shows.
The affidavit filed by Prasad Mahajan, under the secretary in the state Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the government said that its order prohibiting people above the age of 65 years from going to film and television shooting sets were not with a vie to discriminate.
On Saturday the affidavit was submitted in response to the petition filed by Pramod Pandey challenging the guidelines issued by the state government on May 30, 2020, stating that no cast/crewmember above the age of 65 years will be allowed to film and television shooting sets.
A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla will take up the petition for final hearing next week.
The 70-year-old petitioner said that he was doing small roles in films and TV serials for four decades and he does not have any other source of livelihood.
Further, he said that in his petition that though he is physically fit, he is not allowed to go to studios and participate in the shooting.
"The said condition is not to deprive any cast/crew members above the age of 65 years nor can it be termed as discriminatory as the interest of the cast and crew has been protected and balance is maintained by permitting them to either work from home or over video conferencing or other video-sharing apps," the affidavit said.
"Those persons who are unable to go to the studios can work from home and earn their livelihood as being done by many individuals in private offices. If this too is not possible, then alternative arrangements should be adopted for earning livelihood and survival in this COVID-19 pandemic situation, the government said.
On Tuesday the court asked the government if it relied on any data or statistics before passing the order.
The affidavit replying to it said, No data/reports/ statistics were taken into consideration before issuing the impugned guidelines restraining cast/crew members above the age of 65 years from attending shooting sets or studios."several requests were made to the government to permit the shooting of films and television series, it said.
"As the economic progress of the country was hampered following the COVID-19 outbreak, the government gave permission to resume the film and television industry by relaxing few restrictions, the affidavit said."The virus could infect any individual who would come in contact with an infected person. A person could be asymptomatic and could spread the infection to others who have low or weak immunity, the affidavit said.
Further, it said that even guidelines issued by the central government in the wake of the pandemic have imposed restrictions on the movement of senior citizens and children.
"If the central government relaxes its guidelines pertaining to persons above the age of 65 years then the state government would also adopt the same", the affidavit said.
(With Inputs from PTI)