Covid-19 has brought forth a lot of challenges to the Government of India. One of the primary challenges is to make people stay at home, at the same time ensuring that there is no shortage of essential goods and services. For this to be achieved, the government has issued a lockdown in major parts of the country and granted powers to the police and magistrates to ensure a lockdown under the Epidemic Diseases Act and the Indian Penal Code, along with other legislations.
While ensuring the availability of essential goods and services for the locked-in population, there is a dependency on people, certain IT services, manufacturing and related infrastructure and of course, a lot of goods and its transportation to different locations. The government has identified these goods and services as ‘Essential Services’. It ought to be called essential goods and services and hopefully, the government will make amends to this late when we are not in such an emergency situation.
We are providing below with certain legal positions that the companies can take if encountered with roadblocks from the police or municipal or health or other enforcement authorities. Each city has its own set of rules and there can be multiple interpretations. Since this is only a general legal and commercial partake, it is always advisable to take expert legal advice, customised as per your goods and services.
Transportation of People/Employees:
It is pertinent to force employees and companies to follow the below-mentioned guidelines for the transportation of its employees who provide essential services:
Transportation of Goods:
Companies dealing with the transportation of essential goods may follow the below principles in line with the Government orders is each respective State:
Transportation of Services:
Many companies are involved in services required for providing essential goods and requiring transportation of people for accomplishing the same. Such industries, especially IT and ITES companies that provide backend services shall consider the following measures in light of the Government’s order in respective States and as precautionary measures for its employee and services:
While the Government is taking steps to ensure that the COVID19 crisis is managed and is releasing norms and regulations, it is also equally important for the companies to carry out the responsibility to be proactive and help ensure the safety of employees and goods/services while being transported.
This too shall pass. Stay safe.