HC: legal aid lawyers, judicial officers need to be vaccinated

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked if legal aid lawyers and judicial officers in the 18-44 age bracket, working to implement Supreme Court orders to decongest prisons due to the pandemic, can walk in for vaccination shots at the centres set up in district courts.

“You cannot send someone to war without a gun,” Justice Navin Chawla remarked, adding legal aid lawyers and judicial officers also needed to be protected against the virus.

The High Court’s query to the Centre and Delhi government came while hearing a plea by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), represented by advocate Ajay Verma, seeking directions to urgently vaccinate judicial officers and legal aid lawyers at the vaccination centres set up in district courts.

The Central government said there was no separate classification of lawyers as front-line workers for priority in vaccination. It said the issue of vaccinating the legal aid lawyers was a pan-India concern.

Centre’s call

Delhi government said lawyers and judicial officers of 45 years or above can walk-in for vaccination at the centres in the district courts, but that was not the case with regard to the 18-44 age group. The Delhi government said it does not have the discretion to allow walk-in of the 18-44 age group and a decision regarding it has to be taken by the Centre.

The High Court had earlier asked DSLSA to prepare a list of the legal aid lawyers and judicial officers who would need the vaccination, so that the same can be shared with the Centre and Delhi government for their consideration.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 6:28:35 PM |

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