4 March 2021 5:42 PM GMT
A bench Division Bench of the Delhi High Court of Justices Vipin Sanghi & Rekha Palli today directed the Union, government of Delhi, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India to file their affidavits addressing various issues raised by the court today in a case concerning Covid19 vaccination for the legal fraternity. Taking note of the submissions of the counsels for the...
Taking note of the submissions of the counsels for the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech that they have excess production capacity, the court directed the organizations to file affidavits clarifying their respective capacities to produce CoviShield and Covaxin - to be indicated as per day/week/month basis, their current offtake, their excess capacity, and how much the two organizations can scale up.
The court remarked, "We are either donating or selling off the vaccines to other countries, without looking at our own needs. There has to be a sense of urgency about this."
At this point, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma appearing for the Centre said, "Having vaccines is one thing, but to translate it into something injectable is another. Cold storages are there."
Agreeing, the court asked, "You are right, logistics are an issue, but are we utilizing these also completely, is there a bottleneck?"
In this backdrop, it also directed the Union of India to state on affidavit the details of logistics available at hand, like transport, cold storage capacities, and the extent to which the same is being presently utilised, in the background of the Union's submission that even if the two organizations have excess production capacity, the logistics to convert the produced vaccines into vaccination was crucial.
The court also directed that the affidavit to be filed by the Union must show the strict classification of persons who can be administered the vaccine, and the rationale for such classification.
The government of Delhi has been asked to state how many judicial and legal officers of the state were required to be covered under the existing policy. The state also has to carry out an examination of medical facilities available in court complexes and to see if vaccination could be administered in the complexes.
The court issued the directions while hearing a suo motu petition initiated for inclusion of judicial staff, advocates and judges as frontline workers and for Covid-19 vaccination.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma appearing for the Union said, "Our lawyers are definitely in the frontline and must be treated as such."
The matter will next be taken up for hearing on Mar 10.