Frame door-to-door vaccination policy by June 22: Bombay HC

Bombay High Court. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The Bombay High Court said it is giving the Maharashtra government time till June 22 to decide on its door-to-door vaccination policy for those above 75 years who are bed-ridden or wheelchair bound.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by two advocates, Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh had informed the Bench on Monday that the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 had been meeting often and issuing guidelines, and there was a scarcity of the vaccination. “One bottle has 10 doses and we do not want any wastage,” he said. “I will submit. Kindly bear with us for some time and in future this will be sorted out.”

The court asked, “What does the Central government think of the other States not following the national policy and going ahead with the door-to-door programme?

Mr. Singh said, “It is an advisory...”

The court interrupted and said, “Is it left to the wisdom of the State..? Penultimate paragraph of your reply says that the policy is a mere advisory. So, there is no embargo on the State to conduct door-to-door vaccination.”

The court added, “We saw the notification of the Kerala government. We know about the Jammu Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh door to door vaccination policy. Have you issued an express communication prohibiting them from the drive? So, then nothing can stop the State of Maharashtra or BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) from door-to-door vaccination?

Mr. Singh said, “Health is ultimately a State subject...”

The court then asked the BMC counsel Anil Sakhare, “If there are guidelines issued, then will you follow the Centre or the State?”

Mr. Sakhare said: “State guidelines.”

Mr. Sakhare requested the Court to issue directions to the State to come up with a guideline faster.

The Bench then said, “Once the State comes up with a guideline, you are ready to start right away.”

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 7:38:59 PM |

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