Filing an application for intervention, Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) President & Ex-MLA Amit Jogi has challenged Chhattisgarh Government's COVID-19 Vaccination policy before the Chhattisgarh High Court.
This IA has been filed in the suo moto cognizance matter related to the tsunamic second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inadequacy in medical infrastructure to tackle the same
Amit Jogi, who heads Chhattisgarh first and only Regional Party recognized by the Election Commission of India, has moved this IA through Advocates Arvind Srivastava and Anumeh Srivastava.
The Application states that the Government of Chhattisgarh, in the most unreasonable and illegal manner, issued an Order in connection with COVID-19 Vaccination policy.
The application states,
"First preference for vaccination for the age group of 18-44 years has been allotted to the Antyoday beneficiaries, the second round has been allotted to the individuals Below Poverty Line and in the third round to the Above Poverty Line."
"The impugned allocation of resources, by practically applying reservation in terms of class, for an essential service like that of vaccination, in the times of an unprecedented Global Pandemic in the last 100 years, is not only illegal and arbitrary but also criminal in the given scenario," adds the application.
Further, the applicant submits that the order states that all the vaccines procured by the State Government after 1st of May will only be made available through Government Centers, thereby subjecting all the vaccine being provided to the State of Chhattisgarh to the impugned scheme of distribution.
The plea also submits that soon after passing of the order dated 30th April 2021, the State Government has further amended/revised it vide order dated 01st May 2021, wherein it has been directed that the COWIN portal shall not be opened for the individuals within age bracket of 18-44 years.
Importantly, the plea states,
"The distinction and differentiation, in terms of reservation for vaccination for Economically Weaker Section is not only a mockery of the present state of affairs, but also endangers the public at large by an accelerated COVID-19 infection, which despite lockdowns is running like a wildfire."
The application also submits that no legislation, including the Chhattisgarh State Disaster Management Act 2005, empowers the State to formulate such classification in the allotment of such essential resources, backed by no quantifiable data.
Further, underlining that equal allocation of vaccines to all the affected citizens equally, in the present time of pandemic, is indeed encapsulated within the ambit of Article 21, the plea submits,
"Any classification/reservation in the allotment of vaccines, which without any reasonable cause or empirical data, devoids the deserving candidates, would be directly violative of Article 21."
Lastly, the Application prays that appropriate directions be issued to ensure a just and reasonable allocation of vaccines to all the concerned, in the State, within the age bracket of 18-44 years, without any unreasonable classification/reservation/ prioritization as stipulated vide order dated 30th April 2021 along with the connected order dated 01st May 2021.