‘Arbitrary & Unreasonable’ : Bombay High Court Says Centre Needs To Rethink Its Policy To Not Give Door-To-Door COVID Vaccination For Elderly

first_imgNews Updates’Arbitrary & Unreasonable’ : Bombay High Court Says Centre Needs To Rethink Its Policy To Not Give Door-To-Door COVID Vaccination For Elderly Sharmeen Hakim22 April 2021 7:47 PMShare This – x’Elderly citizens are left to choose between devil and the deep sea’, the High Court said in its order.Criticizing the Centre’s five-pointers on why door-to-door vaccination was not feasible, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Union Government to revisit its vaccination policy for the elderly, bed-ridden, and differently-abled citizens amid the ferocious covid second wave. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni observed that if a policy denies an elderly person home vaccination because of their delicate medical condition, it must be viewed as arbitrary and unreasonable. Elderly citizens are entitled to the protection of Article 21 of the Constitution of India as much as the young and abled-bodied citizenry of the country…We regretfully record that the elderly citizens are being asked to choose between the devil and the deep sea, the bench recorded in its order. “You can’t leave the old to die,” the Chief Justice said, earlier during the hearing, adding, “We expected a better affidavit from the Centre. This needs a relook by your experts…When I think of my mother, the last six years of her life she was bedridden. If she would have lived in Covid times, what would she have done?” Referring to reasons given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which range from difficulty in following physical distancing protocols during door-to-door testing, to the impact on the efficacy of the vaccine if it is taken out repeatedly, the Chief observed, the there were enough facilities to deal with these problems. “Presently new generation ambulances with ICU facilities are even available. It is difficult to assume that ambulances fitted with refrigerators to maintain the recommended temperature are not available and, therefore, the efficacy of the vaccine would be compromised…” the bench observed in its order. During the hearing, Justice Kulkarni pointed out that Pfizer’s vaccine in Los Angeles is drive-through only, where the recipient is given the vaccine in his vehicle. “Children and old people should be taken care of, they should be are our first priority. It should not be the reverse. We see them being given priority only at the airport, owing to international standards.” Advocate Dhruti Kapadia, the petitioner in person, submitted that physical distancing would be a problem at the vaccination centers and not during home vaccination. The Bench observed in its order that there is no explanation given that door-to-door vaccination would hinder social distancing. The final reason at paragraph 6.5 (supra) appears to us to be one assigned oblivious of the realities at the ground level. We can take judicial notice of the assembly of a huge crowd at the vaccination centers at any given point of time where COVID protocols, at times, are unintentionally compromised. The court then recorded Additional Solicitor General, Anil Singh submission that the decision not to initiate home vaccination would be relooked within two weeks and adjourned the matter to May 6, 2021. [PIL No. 9228 of 2021 Dhruti Kapadia & another VS Union of India]Click here to read/download the orderTagsBombay High Court Covid19 Vaccination Justice Dipankar Datta Justice GS Kulkarni Next Storylast_img read more