Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

'People Are Not Getting Vaccine Slots; Getting Distress Calls' : Supreme Court Questions Co-WIN Registration Requirement For Vaccination

Radhika Roy
31 May 2021 7:42 AM GMT
People Are Not Getting Vaccine Slots; Getting Distress Calls : Supreme Court Questions Co-WIN Registration Requirement For Vaccination
x

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed serious concerns at the mandatory requirement of registration in the Co-Win app for getting a slot of COVID vaccination, as a large section of the Indian population is deprived of access to smart phones and internet."You keep saying digital India, digital India, but you are not aware of the ground realities", Justice Chandrachud told the Solicitor General...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed serious concerns at the mandatory requirement of registration in the Co-Win app for getting a slot of COVID vaccination, as a large section of the Indian population is deprived of access to smart phones and internet.

"You keep saying digital India, digital India, but you are not aware of the ground realities", Justice Chandrachud told the Solicitor General of India Mr. Tushar Mehta, highlighting the "digital divide" in the country.

"You can certainly have registration, but how will you answer the digital divide ? How do you answer the question about migrant labourers who have to go from one State to another?A poor worker from Jharkhand has to go all the way to a common centre?", Justice Chandrachud asked.



A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat was hearing the suo moto case on COVID-related issues (In Re Distribution of Essential Services and Supplies During Pandemic).

The Central Government in its affidavit has stated that registration in a national portal is necessary to track the number of doses and type of vaccine given to a person and the eligibility criteria of the person. The Centre has also said that people without digital access can take help from village common centre, friends, family or NGOs for getting vaccine registration.

If people in urban centres are finding it difficult to get vaccine slots, what will be the fate of migrant labourers and villagers, the bench asked.

"This is a real fear amongst the people. I have gotten distress calls from people across the country, that they're not getting slots. They're all gone within seconds", Justice Ravindra Bhat said.

"What about the digital divide ? Everyone has to register on COWIN. Is it realistically possible for people in rural areas to start registering on this app ? How do you expect them to do that ? Our own law clerks and friends have tried. Why are we not treating people with comorbidities and those who are marginalised on the same plane ?", Justice Chandrachud raised his concerns.

"If we say there is a problem, we expect you to look into. Digital literacy in India is far from perfect. I am the Chairman of the e-Committee. I have seen the problems which afflict this. You have to be flexible and keep your ears on the ground", Justice Chandrachud told the Solicitor General.

"Even in the villages, they have to get registered at a common centre. Is that really practical?", the judge asked.

The SG said that the Government has made certain relaxations and have permitted work-place vaccinations and walk-in registrations in certain categories. The SG said that he will place the details in an affidavit. The top law officer of the union also said that the policy of the government was not "cast in stone" and was flexible to respond to the dynamic situation.

The Court has adjourned the hearing for two weeks asking the Centre to respond to the concerns raised by the judges.

Also from the hearing :

'You Can't Just Say You Are The Centre & You Know What's Right. We Have A Strong Arm To Come Down On This' : Supreme Court Questions COVID Vaccine Policy












Next Story
Share it