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Can't Pass General Directives For Door-To-Door Vaccination : Supreme Court

Shruti Kakkar
8 Sep 2021 8:09 AM GMT
Cant Pass General Directives For Door-To-Door Vaccination : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it cannot pass generalized directions for granting "door-to-door" vaccination to people.A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Bela M Trivedi was hearing a PIL filed by Youth Bar Association of India seeking for the provision of door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination of all the citizens residing in India, particularly the...

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it cannot pass generalized directions for granting "door-to-door" vaccination to people.

A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Bela M Trivedi was hearing a PIL filed by Youth Bar Association of India seeking for the provision of door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination of all the citizens residing in India, particularly the elderly, differently-abled, less privileged, weaker sections, and those who are unable to register online for their vaccination.

The bench disposed of the PIL allowing the petitioner to submit a representation to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with its suggestions.  The bench observed that the Ministry may consider the petitioner's suggestions at the appropriate level.

Noting that the vaccination process was underway, the Court said that it will be difficult to issue generalized directions.

"At this stage it will be difficult to issue general directions especially having regard to diversity of our conditions. Also our directions should not impinge upon the administrative powers of the state governments", Justice Chandrachud remarked.

Filed by Advocate Manju Jetley, the PIL had averred that door-to-door vaccination for COVID-19 was the need of the hour, especially for vulnerable groups.

It was argued that additionally, it would minimize the risk of getting infected whilst reaching the vaccination centre.

"The COVID-19 vaccination shall muster on the principle of 'We are as strong as our weakest link' and deprivation to vaccine to even single person, for any reason whatsoever, would be detrimental in the larger public interest," the petition had stated.

Submitting that India is a "welfare state", the plea had stated that India should accept its liability toward securing public welfare and serve the interest of all its citizens.

It was also submitted that the Universal Immunisation Plan and National Vaccination strategy issued by the Central Government had raised a legitimate expectation that the vaccine would be procured by the Centre and distributed down the chain to the public, free of cost and universally, in a gradually-phased manner.

On a related note, the Bombay High Court had passed several observations regarding the need to adopt "door-to-door" vaccination for the elderly and the physically disabled. Following the nudge by the High Court, the Maharashtra Government took a decision to explore the said option.

Case Title: Youth Bar Association v Union of India | WP(C) 619| 2021

Advocates: Mr. Sanpreet Singh Ajmani and Ms. Baby Singh along with AOR Ms. Manju Jetley

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