No action against photographers who can’t pay Rs 25k licence fee, HC tells Centre

No action against photographers who can’t pay Rs 25k licence fee, HC tells Centre
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New Delhi, July 14: The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed the Centre not to take any coercive action against freelance photographers, who have to pay Rs 25,000 for renewal of their licences to take pictures of visitors at monuments across the country, till the time the government decides their representation against the hiking of the fee.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the central government to decide the representation of the photographers in accordance with law, rules, regulations and policy applicable to such cases and also keeping in mind the difficulties faced by them.
The court said the representation be decided within four weeks from Tuesday and “meanwhile, no coercive action will be taken against the applicants”.
The court also issued notice to the Centre and sought its stand on the application moved by the photographers challenging the government’s June 30 notification directing them to pay Rs 25,000 by July 15 failing which their license would not be renewed.
The application contended that when the lockdown was imposed in March, all the monuments were closed and the photographers have not earned a penny since then.
Therefore, they would not be able to afford to pay the amount of Rs 25,000, their application has said.
The application was filed in the main petition challenging the government’s decision to hike license fees to 25,000 from the earlier Rs 5,000.
The main petition is pending adjudication before the high court. (PTI)