Coronavirus | Jab status linked to business, salary of some employees in Northeast

The High Court of Meghalaya asked shops and passenger vehicle operators to display ‘vaccinated’ or ‘not vaccinated’ prominently

Updated - June 25, 2021 01:34 am IST

Published - June 24, 2021 02:01 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Beneficiaries wait in a queue to receive COVID-19 vaccine dose, at a centre in Nagaon district of Assam, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Beneficiaries wait in a queue to receive COVID-19 vaccine dose, at a centre in Nagaon district of Assam, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccination status has been linked to the opening of shops and business establishments, operation of commercial passenger vehicles as well as the salaries of some government employees in the Northeast.

Besides, these are incentives such as free rice and cash offered by some local authorities to counter the reluctance or resistance to inoculation by people, many of who are convinced that the serum induces infertility and genetic changes.

On June 23, the High Court of Meghalaya directed all shops, commercial establishments, taxi, auto-rickshaw and bus operators to display the vaccination status of their staff. This followed the hearing of a petition challenging the orders of the State’s deputy commissioners asking shopkeepers, vendors, local cabbies and others to get vaccinated before they resume their business.

‘Persuasive advisory’

The orders of the district heads, the Bench of Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder and Justice H.S. Thangkhiew observed, should be seen as a “persuasive advisory” and not coercion. The court said all shops, commercial centres and public commercial vehicles should prominently display the words “vaccinated” or “not vaccinated” to let their customers or passengers know about their status.

“In the event, any shops/establishments/local taxis /auto-rickshaws/maxi cabs and buses flout the above directions, the authority concerned of the State shall immediately direct its closure/stoppage of plying,” the court ordered.

The court also said the authorities should immediately step in and proceed in accordance with the law if there was any attempt made by any person or organisation to spread misinformation regarding the efficacy of vaccines among the people of the State.

Hours later, the Assam government directed all the departmental heads to ascertain the vaccination status of their frontline employees before releasing their monthly salaries.

Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua, also the chairperson of the State Disaster Management Authority, Assam (ASDMA), issued the order after officials found out that many frontline government employees had not taken their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

“Non-vaccination of such frontline government servants may give rise to the possibility of further spread of the virus, which in turn may endanger the lives of common citizens, especially the vulnerable groups like children, pregnant women, etc.,” the order said.

“Direct all department heads to ascertain the vaccination status of such government servants before releasing the monthly salary/remuneration from the current month (June) onwards,” it added.

ASDMA officials clarified that the order was meant for employees of certain departments such as police, health, disaster management, revenue and transport where contact with the public was unavoidable.

The Assam government had earlier instructed all its employees to join duty from June 14 if they had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The State government is expected to relax restrictions from July 1.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.