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Plea Before Kerala High Court Challenges GO Requiring Unvaccinated Persons To Produce Negative RT PCR Certificate To Enter Establishments

Hannah M Varghese
28 Aug 2021 4:27 AM GMT
Plea Before Kerala High Court Challenges GO Requiring Unvaccinated Persons To Produce Negative RT PCR Certificate To Enter Establishments
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A man unwilling to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has approached the Kerala High Court challenging the Government Order mandating vaccination certificate or RT PCR negative results to visit shops and other establishments in the State.Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar will consider the matter elaborately on Wednesday. This is the second petition filed seeking the Government Order to be set aside....

A man unwilling to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has approached the Kerala High Court challenging the Government Order mandating vaccination certificate or RT PCR negative results to visit shops and other establishments in the State.

Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar will consider the matter elaborately on Wednesday. 

This is the second petition filed seeking the Government Order to be set aside. In a recent proceeding, a man had approached the court alleging that the recent Government Order virtually puts unvaccinated persons under house arrest. However, this Bench had observed that unvaccinated persons may move out of their residences for essential activities as per the impugned Government Order.

The instant petition was moved by an employee of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). Advocate Ajit Joy appearing for the petitioner submitted that his client had already taken three RT PCR tests to attend duty and that it was very difficult to take the test continuously as it costs more than Rs 500 per test.

"Taking a COVID-19 vaccination is purely voluntary. There are several people who have decided not to get vaccinated. The state ought to do more to educate the public about the vaccine and dispel doubts as to its efficacy before attempting stringent prohibition as envisaged in the order," argued the petitioner.

He submitted that he doubted the efficacy of the vaccine since even the vaccinated were getting infected and even dying. He quoted examples of prominent leaders of the State being affected with the virus despite being administered with two doses of the vaccine. 

According to him, he has been going about his daily life since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, observing all instructions issued by the Government. He has diligently worn a mask while outdoors, observed social distancing, followed lockdown restrictions and had always taken adequate precautions including observing the 'stay at home' norm.

It was also submitted that the petitioner had not been infected yet by the virus and that the G.O to restrict the movement of those who have not been vaccinated has seriously affected him. The order was in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, he argued.

The State submitted that 68% of its population have been administered the first dose of vaccine. It condemned the petition raising the objection that such petitions cannot be entertained when the TPR is nearly 20 per cent in the state and the daily number of COVID-19 cases is crossing 30,000, it said.

Standing Counsel for KTDC  P. A Ahamed submitted that it had never prevented the petitioner from working at the office despite being unvaccinated and not possessing the negative RT PCR certificate on a daily basis. 

To this, the court answered, "That implies you are violating the government order. How did you permit him to work without RT PCR negative certificate?"

The hearing will resume on Wednesday.

Case Title: Lalu V v. State of Kerala 

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