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HC quashes Maharashtra government's order for age limit on film sets; Surekha Sikri, Kanwaljit Singh rejoice decision

Bombay High Court on Friday set aside an order of the Maharashtra government barring all persons above the age of 65 years from shooting and participating in any work on film sets

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HC quashes Maharashtra government's order for age limit on film sets; Surekha Sikri, Kanwaljit Singh rejoice decision
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The Bombay High Court on Friday set aside an order of the Maharashtra government barring all persons above the age of 65 years from shooting and participating in any work on film sets in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice Riyaz I Chagla, while hearing two petitions filed by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) and actor Pramod Pandey, allows all persons over 65 years of age to work in the entertainment industry.

The bench allowed all producers, technicians, workers and artists to work subject to them adhering to the advisories which are applicable to all senior citizens as is applicable in case of all other citizens in the state.

Rejoicing the news, as per reports in BollywoodLife, veteran actor Surekha Sikri stated to a portal, "I am feeling extremely relieved with this decision. I think it's a very positive move and I am waiting to get back to the action."

While Kanwaljit Singh, who had expressed his disappoint over Maharashtra government's decision said, "I am really happy that finally, they have permitted us to start shooting. But some of the actors like me have already been replaced. I have been chasing CINTAA and other people since June 5 to get a conclusion. Every time I asked them they said it will happen in two days. After a time I just gave up and asked my producers to go ahead with another artist. They were extremely cooperative and waited for me for a long time. But then their set and everything was ready. In fact, I had rented a flat in Mira road near the set as I don't have to go up down from Juhu to Mira road in this corona crisis. But it all got wasted. I would like to work with the producers in future."

Earlier the High Court had pulled up the state government on the matter and asked how can it stop only these people from working and earning a livelihood?

The court had, during the hearing, appointed senior counsel Sharad Jagtiani as amicus curiae in the matter. IMPPA and Pande were represented by advocate Ashok Saraogi.

"As per the list available with the petitioner, there are thousands of people aged above 65 years who were participating in the shooting of programmes prior to the lockdown. The shootings of such films and programmes have been left in between due to the non-availability of such people," one of the pleas said.

It said that the guideline in the matter was not practical and was not fair as in no other profession this condition was imposed.

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