Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of Dipankar Datta, CJ., and G. S. Kulkarni, J., sanctioned door-to-door vaccination facility for elderly and differently-abled persons.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (the MCGM) had heightened before the Court that it had informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, of its willingness to conduct door to door vaccination and had sought permission to commence the same.

The counsel for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mr Anil Singh informed the Court that the Government of India had replied to the said letter of the MCGM informing that as per the COVID 19 vaccination guidelines, vaccination is provided at identified Government and Private vaccination centres and the State / UT’s had been repeatedly advised to operationalize ‘Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres’ in order to bring vaccination services closer to the community for elderly and differently-abled persons and to operationalize such units in Community Centres, Resident Welfare Association centers/offices, housing societies, colonies, panchayat ghar/offices, school and college buildings, old age homes etc. in regard to which SOP had been issued on 27-05-2021. The letter also recorded that the issue of door to door vaccination for disabled and elderly was deliberated by technical experts in the meeting of ‘National Experts Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19’which had advised that vaccination cannot be given at the doorstep due to various issues and risks associated with maintenance of proper cold chain, potential contamination of vaccine, AEFI’s management, vaccine wastage, potential of COVID-19 protocols being compromised, etc. Accordingly, the MCGM was advised to follow the guidelines and advisories as per the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.

Considering the abovementioned, the Bench asked the counsel for Union government as to whether the Union government had in any manner prohibited other States; i.e. State of Kerala, UT of J&K and the other States who had commenced door to door vaccination to stop the same. To which, the Bench was informed that the Union government had merely issued a guideline/advisory. Pursuant to which the Bench stated,

It clearly appears to us that there is no categorical prohibition imposed by the Central Government for the States to undertake a door to door vaccination programme, for the elderly and disabled citizens…

Considering the willingness of MCGM in regard to door to door vaccination, the Bench urged the State government to take an appropriate decision on the issue. The Bench added, if the decision is taken permitting door to door vaccination by the State government the authorities should not wait for the next hearing on the matter and shall proceed to immediately implement the same.[Dhruti Kapadia v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 831, Order dated 14-06-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance before the Court:

Counsel for the Petitioner: Dhruti Kapadia (In person)

Counsels for UOI: ASG Anil C. Singh with Advait Sethna i/by Anusha P. Amin

Counsels for the State: G.P. Purnima Kantharia with Addl. G.P. Geeta Shastri

Counsel for MCGM: K. H. Mastakar

Counsel for Pune Municipal Corporation: Abhijit Kulkarni

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: A Division Bench of Prashant Kumar Mishra ACJ. and Parth Prateem Sahu, J. laid down noteworthy observations regarding various issues brought to the notice of the Court related to Covid.

The instant PIL was registered suo moto by the Court to take stock of the various issues that arose due to the coronavirus crisis.

It was submitted that the figures of vaccination provided therein are in violation of category-wise allocation of vaccination under the State Government’s order dated 9-5-2021. It was also submitted that the problem arising out of issuance of a defective certificate in respect of vaccination inasmuch as a person getting Covishield jab is issued a certificate of Covaxin jab.

Counsel for the State submitted that the State is making all possible efforts to adhere to its policy by maintaining the ratio of the percentage of vaccination amongst different categories as per its order dated 9-5-2021, while at the same time minimising the wastage.

The Court observed that violation of percentage of allocation for a particular category is happening because the vaccines are to be utilised at the center as is allocated for the given day so that there is minimum wastage and due to digital divide.

The Court observed that the whole vaccination programme is such a complex phenomenon that adherence to the percentage in precise terms is very difficult to achieve. It is the intent of the respondent to provide jab to the citizens which is more important than some glitches which are occurring at some places either while issuing a different certificate or the difficulties in scheduling for the second dose.

The Court observed, “the State shall ensure that the dead bodies are buried/cremated in a decent and respectful manner as the right to be respectfully and decently buried/cremated has always been treated to be inclusive in the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

The Court directed the State Government to take all necessary precautions that a person getting first jab of a particular brand/company, is issued the certificate of the same jab and not the other one.[Suo Moto WP (PIL) v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2021 SCC OnLine Chh 1426, decided on 04-06-2021]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Advocate for Petitioner: Mr. Rakesh Pandey

Amicus Curiae: Mr. Prafull N Bharat

Advocate for UOI. Mr. Ramakant Mishra

Advocate for Railways: Mr. Abhishek Sinha

Advocate for SLSA: Mr. Ashish Shrivastava

Advocates for the respective Interveners: Mr. Palash Tiwari, Mr. Anumeh Shrivastava, Mr. Devershi Thakur, Mr. Arjit Tiwari, Mr. Aman Pandey

Intervenor in Person-  Mr.  Himanshu Choubey