Other States

Why can’t you start door-to-door vaccination, HC asks Centre

The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Union government if it has different policies for different States on door-to-door vaccination programme.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said it was unable to understand what the Centre’s problem was in starting door-to-door vaccination when Kerala and Jammu & Kashmir were doing it successfully.

Additional solicitor general Anil Singh told the court that the COVID-19 pandemic had a national impact and all the States needed to work in coordination with the Centre. “The Centre formulates guidelines and it is expected of all State governments to follow them update them from time to time.”

The court, however, told Mr. Singh to take a uniform policy decision. “We want to save as many lives as possible. We are not able to understand what the Centre’s problem is. Why don’t you communicate with these States and if it appeals to you, then you can ask other States also to start the same drive,” the court said. It asked the government to take a sound decision.

“BMC [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation] commissioner said ‘Chase The Virus’... It was a catchy phrase,” the court told the corporation’s counsel Anil Sakhare. “Did you have to take the permission from the Union for it?”

Additional government pleader Geeta Shastri, appearing for the Maharashtra government, told the court that she needed one week to respond to the court’s query about a senior politician getting vaccinated at his residence.

“One week to take information on this?” the Chief Justice responded. “This is alarming. There is an old saying “You show me the man and I will show you the rule’.”

The court noted that it was very happy with the good job being done by the BMC and asked why the civic body was hesitant about introducing door-to-door vaccination.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by two city-based lawyers Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari that sought vaccination at home for those who were over 75 years, bed-ridden or wheelchair-bound.

The bench directed Mr. Singh to take instructions from the Union Health Secretary on the matter.

It adjourned the case for June 14.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 6:25:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/why-cant-you-start-door-to-door-vaccination-bombay-hc-asks-centre/article34793440.ece

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