New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Central, Delhi Government and two vaccine manufactures on a suo motu public interest litigation concerning Covid-19 vaccination of judges, court staff and lawyers on priority.
on Wednesday, the PIL was registered on a letter written by the Chairman of the Bar Council of Delhi. Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli had said that there is weight in the claim made by the Bar Council for declaring persons associated with judicial functioning as frontline workers.
During the course of proceedings today, the division bench issued a slew of directions. Covishield and Covaxin manufacturers Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India were directed to file affidavits on — capacity to manufacture the vaccines and the unutilised capacity.
The Government of India has been asked to indicate the transport capacity of the vaccine and the extent to which it is being used. The Centre has also been asked to explain the rationale over strict class of persons that can be vaccinated.
In the recent phase of the vaccination which commenced on March 1, the government is vaccinating only those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
Delhi High Court Bar Association and Bar Council of Delhi have been asked to file an affidavit disclosing the judicial strength. “It should indicate how many of them would get covered by the existing policy and how many would be left out,” said the Court.
Delhi Government has been directed to carry out inspection of medical facilities in court complexes and to report whether vaccination centres could be created there. The matter will now be heard on March 10.
This comes after the announcement of resumption of physical hearing of the matters in the court on the daily basis from March 15.
On Wednesday, the court had observed that the co-morbidities enlisted by the Government to accommodate persons falling in the age group of 45 to 60 years, taken note of hereinabove, are serious conditions from which the judges, the court staff and advocates may, or may not, be suffering.
“There is a clear pattern emerging that the number of Covid-19 positive cases increases with greater intermingling. With increased footfall, there is likelihood of the rate of infection amongst those who attend the Courts spiking, once the full-fledged physical functioning of Courts in Delhi resumes.”
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