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COVID: Plea In Delhi High Court Seeks Priority Vaccination For NRIs Holding Valid Visa, Students Opting For Foreign Education

Nupur Thapliyal
31 May 2021 3:47 AM GMT
COVID: Plea In Delhi High Court Seeks Priority Vaccination For NRIs Holding Valid Visa, Students Opting For Foreign Education
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A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking priority vaccination for people, including NRIs holding valid visa of foreign countries who normally reside and work and the respective foreign country and also for those students who opt for foreign education with a valid offer letter from the Universities abroad.The plea filed by Pravasi legal Cell through Advocates M.P. Srivignesh,...

A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking priority vaccination for people, including NRIs holding valid visa of foreign countries who normally reside and work and the respective foreign country and also for those students who opt for foreign education with a valid offer letter from the Universities abroad.

The plea filed by Pravasi legal Cell through Advocates M.P. Srivignesh, Robin Raju and Deepa Joseph also seeks directions to provide option to include passport numbers in vaccination certificate and an option to update vaccination certificate already issued with passport numbers for those people who intend to travel abroad.

The plea makes Union of India through Principal Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs of India and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as Respondents in the matter.

Alternatively, the plea seeks directions on the Respondents to take appropriate steps for including Covaxin in World Health Organisation's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL).

The plea is scheduled to be listed today before a division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

"It is submitted that with the vaccination policy, the Government has been conducting the vaccination drive keeping the age bracket in mind. But it is submitted that unless and until, preference is not given to those persons who have valid visa of foreign countries and who normally work and live abroad, it will severely affect them." The plea reads.

Stating that a vaccination certificate carrying the Aadhaar number in place of the passport number cannot be produced as a valid document with the latest rules in many countries, the plea avers that many NRIs who got the first dose furnishing their Aadhaar number will have to update their certificates with passport number to ensure international recognition.

In view of this, the plea reads thus:

"It is humbly submitted that it is imperative on the Respondents to provide option to include passport numbers in vaccination certificate and an option to update vaccination certificate already issued with passport numbers for those people who intend to travel abroad. "

Furthermore, the plea also states that the vaccine certificates issued in India does not provide the complete name of Covishield Vaccine and for that reason, it is not accepted for taking travel to many foreign countries. Stating thus, the plea submits that it is imperative on the part of Respondents to provide the complete name of the COVISHIELD vaccine in the Vaccination Certificate i.e. "Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine"

"Unless and until the migrant community including the NRIs who have valid visa of foreign countries are put in priority list of vaccination, they would be in a position to return back as it will take time for the 2 doses of vaccination to get over and by the time it is done, there are high chances that they might lose their jobs also." The plea states.

The plea states the following prayers:

- A direction to the Respondents to prioritize vaccination for people, including NRIs holding valid visa of foreign countries who normally reside and work and the respective foreign countryand also for those students who opt for foreign education with a valid offer letter from the Universities abroad.

- A direction to the Respondents to provide option to include passport numbers in vaccination certificate and an option to update vaccination certificate already issued with passport numbers for those people who intend to travel abroad.

- A direction to the Respondents to take appropriate steps to include Covaxin in World Health Organisation's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL).

- A direction to the Respondents to provide the complete name of the COVISHIELD vaccine in the Vaccination Certificate i.e. "Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine"

- A direction, to the Respondents to permit beneficiaries going abroad to take COVISHIELD vaccine as per the previous schedule of 4 – 6 weeks.

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