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Administer Covid-19 Vaccines To Antyodaya Card Holders, Persons Falling BPL & APL In Equal Ratio: Chhattisgarh High Court Tells State

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
8 May 2021 7:38 AM GMT
Administer Covid-19 Vaccines To Antyodaya Card Holders, Persons Falling BPL & APL In Equal Ratio: Chhattisgarh High Court Tells State
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The Chhattisgarh High Court on Friday expressed displeasure at the State Government's action of completely halting the Covid-19 vaccination drive with respect to persons in the age group 18-45 for deciding vaccination norms. "We do not appreciate the action of the State Government in totally stopping the vaccination to the residents of the State coming within the age group of above...

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The Chhattisgarh High Court on Friday expressed displeasure at the State Government's action of completely halting the Covid-19 vaccination drive with respect to persons in the age group 18-45 for deciding vaccination norms.

"We do not appreciate the action of the State Government in totally stopping the vaccination to the residents of the State coming within the age group of above 18 years and less than 45 years. The vaccination is a life saving measure from the disastrous corona virus. Considering the life threat due to Covid-19 pandemic, need of hour is maximum vaccination in the shortest possible time," a Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu observed.

The Chhattisgarh Government had rolled out a policy for third phase of vaccination. It was decided that vaccines will firstly be administered to the Antyodaya Card Holders i.e. poorest among the poor, secondly to the people belonging to the group 'Below Poverty Line' and thirdly to the people belonging to the 'Above Poverty Line'.

The policy was held to be prima facie unsustainable vide order dated May 4, as the virus does not see the financial status of a person and that State should ensure that maximum people are vaccinated in shortest possible time.

Covid Vaccine Reservation Based On Financial Status: Chhattisgarh High Court Asks State To Reconsider Policy Limiting Benefits To Antyodaya Card Holders

On Friday, the Court noted that in view of its order, the State Government has totally stopped vaccination drive.

"This Court while passing detailed order on 4.5.2021 has not passed any order of stay restraining the respondent State authorities from continuing with its vaccination drive and only made observation that prioritisation and classification, as it now stands, would not sustain in view of constitutional mandates," the Division Bench clarified at the outset.

It directed the State authorities concerned that until a fresh policy is devised, they should continue with the vaccination by equally distributing the available vaccines among the three classes of citizens i.e., Antyodaya Card Holders, Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line, in the ratio of 1/3 to each class.

Significantly, the State Government had moved an application for modification of order dated May 4.

It was argued that the policy was rolled out after taking into consideration various aspects/factors, which do not violate Article 14 of the Constitution of India. it was submitted that as per Circular issued by the Central Government, the discretion is left with the State Government to fix norms for 3rd phase of vaccination.

The Bench stated that the said application is not available on record, hence, no orders can be passed on it. However, it has sought a response form the Assistant Solicitor General on this aspect.

The Court was also urged to pass a direction that vaccines for Covid-19 be included in the National List of Medicines.

"This intervention application is also not available on record, hence, no orders can be passed on it. However, we observe that the issue, as raised by learned counsel, might be having importance for consideration but we are of the view that instead of filing intervention application, a duly constituted petition ought to have been filed for proper consideration of issue raised," it observed.

Case Title: Suo Moto PIL v. State Of Chhattisgarh

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