Kar HC | Persons with disabilities are entitled to priority in medical treatment in light of S. 25 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Abhay S Oka, CJ and Aravind Kumar, J. gave a slew of directions regarding vaccine allocation.

 The Court took stock of the various aspect related to COVID vaccination in the State.

 Mucormycosis- Black Fungus

A submission was made before the Court regarding an acute shortage of Liposomal Amphotericin B Injection which is required for treating Black Fungus or Mucormycosis to which the State assured that there will be no shortage of the drug.

The Court directed “…place on record statistics of the cases of Mucormycosis in Bengaluru as well as in the other parts of the State and the details about the availability of the said drug-Liposomal Amphotericin B Injection.”

Vaccination

The issue of vaccination is about the special efforts made by the State Government, its agencies and instrumentalities to persuade the citizens residing in thickly populated localities and slums as well as the vulnerable sections of the society to take the benefit of the vaccination drive.

The Court observed that the State Government, as well as BBMP, will consider taking the assistance of NGOs for ensuring that those who are not aware of the availability of the vaccine or those who are reluctant to take the vaccine, are persuaded to take the vaccine.

The Court also observed that the immediate family members of the Frontline Workers, Healthcare Workers and those who fall in Priority groups must undergo vaccination, otherwise, the object of giving priority may be frustrated.

The Court directed the State Government as well as BBMP to place on record the details of the efforts made in this behalf.”

 A document pertaining to Standard Operating Procedure of COVID- 19 Vaccination of Persons without the Prescribed Identity Cards through CoWIN was placed on record by Amicus Curiae.

  • Clause (2) provides registration on CoWIN portal can be made on the basis of any of the seven documents mentioned therein
  • Clause (5) deals with registration of the persons such as nomads, prison inmates, inmates in mental health institutions, roadside beggars, etc who do not have any of the said seven documents.

Issue of Administration Of Vaccine To Persons With Various Categories Of Disabilities

 The Court observed that persons with a disability must get priority when it comes to vaccination in light of Section 25 (1) (c) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

The Court directed “the State Government shall place on record a data of the number of persons with disabilities vaccinated in the following districts: (i) Bengaluru, (ii) Kalbugari, (iii) Bidar, (iv) Mangalore and (v) Chamarajanagar.”

COVAXIN AND COVISHIELD

 The State submitted that 2, 95,100 doses of COVAXIN from the free quota provided by the Central Government are available with the State. In addition, the State Government has procured 81,100 doses out of the free quota are available and 3, 13,219 doses of COVISHIELD have been procured directly by the State Government.

Food Security

The Court analyzed the memo filed by the State and observed that mid-day meal scheme will continue as a one-time special measure even during the summer vacation of the schools.

The Court also took stock of another important aspect of food security is of the supply of ration or ration kits to the vulnerable sections of the society who have been deprived of income due to partial lockdown.

The Court directed “the State Government shall take an immediate decision on the issue of the supply of ration or ration kits to the persons belonging to the vulnerable sections of the society who have not even applied for ration cards”[Mohammed Arif Jameel v. Union of India, W.P. No. 6435 of 2020, decided on 03-06-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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