The Bombay High Court on Friday issued notices to the central and state governments on a petition seeking to include “sale of books” as essential services under the Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968.
The division bench of Justice K K Tated and P K Chavan asked the central government through the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the state government through its chief secretary to file their replies to the petition filed by Marathi Prakashak Parishad, an organisation of Marathi book publishers.
The plea filed in April had said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions are put in place on businesses except those that are essential. It said that since books are not listed as essential items, this adversely affects Marathi and other language book publishing industries.
The petition said that everyone cannot afford laptops and smart phones and hence books are a source of knowledge, information and education for many.