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'Policy Matter': Delhi High Court Refuses To Entertain PIL To Reduce Covid Booster Dose Interval

Suhavi Arya
4 Feb 2022 6:52 AM GMT
Policy Matter: Delhi High Court Refuses To Entertain PIL To Reduce Covid Booster Dose Interval
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The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain a PIL seeking to reduce the time gap for administration of precautionary doses of Covid-19 vaccines (booster shots) to front line workers and senior citizens. The Bench comprising of Chief Justice Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh observed that it is an administrative decision and the Court cannot interfere in policy matters, based on...

The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain a PIL seeking to reduce the time gap for administration of precautionary doses of Covid-19 vaccines (booster shots) to front line workers and senior citizens.

The Bench comprising of Chief Justice Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh observed that it is an administrative decision and the Court cannot interfere in policy matters, based on the whims of the petitioners.

"These policies are made by Doctors who are subject-matter experts and High Courts will be extremely slow in interfering in such matters," the Bench remarked orally.

In this PIL, the counsel for the petitioner Aditya Laroiya argued that frontline workers and senior citizens are getting booster shots after a wide gap of 39 weeks (9 months). He referred to SOPs from other countries, where the protocol for administration of booster shots for frontline workers and senior citizens in not more than 39 days. In the neighboring country Sri Lanka, Laroiya submitted that the gap is of 3 months after the second jab .

The petitioner had also sought impleadment of Ministry of Family and Health, asking them to disclose the rationale behind such a wide gap of 39 weeks in India.

At the outset, the Bench inquired from the petitioner about the law, specific provisions or circular based on which this vaccine timeline and policy was established. It stated that writs should be argued on the basis of law, and on specific provisions, etc.

The Bench went on to remark that while it is good for general people to discuss foreign policies but they cannot and should not file writs based on newspaper articles. "A writ cannot be filed without homework, especially in a PIL matter," the Bench observed as the petitioner withdrew the plea.

Case Title: Dishank Dhawan v. GNCTD, WP (C ) 5239/2021

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 82

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