Meghalaya Aug 27(ILNS): The Meghalaya High Court directed the state government not to insist on the production of the Aadhar Card as the only proof of identity for vaccination.
The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder and Justice H. S. Thangkhiew passed the order on having heard a Suo Moto Public Interest Litigation (PIL) concerning two issues. The first issue was with regard to mandatory vaccination.
By order dated June 23, 2021, the Court has clarified that vaccination cannot be made mandatory. Therefore it has dealt with this issue of mandatory vaccination elaborately and nothing remains to be decided in this regard.
So far as the other issue is concerned – which was with regard to the method of implementation of the Government Welfare Schemes meant for the marginalized section of the society in the State of Meghalaya – the Court on June 23, had issued certain directions upon the Secretaries of the various District Legal Service Authority who shall enquire and find out as to whether the concerned departments are actually taking steps to ensure that the Government Welfare Schemes for the marginalized section of the society are being properly and effectively implemented in a time-bound manner in accordance with the guidelines of the respective schemes and to submit their respective reports to the Member Secretary, Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority, Shillong.
On August 24, the Bench was informed by the Registry that the Secretaries of the District Legal Services Authorities have prepared extensive reports.
A summary whereof shall be forwarded by the Registry to the Advocate General and the concerned authority of the State of Meghalaya so that they can respond to the same on the next date. The extensive detailed reports, which are also on record, can be inspected by the Advocate General and/or the concerned authority of the State, upon prior notice to the Registry, the Court directed.
Before adjourning the matter, the Bench observed that in respect of the vaccination policy presently adopted by the State of Meghalaya, in some places in the State of Meghalaya and particularly in remote villages, there are eligible persons who cannot be vaccinated simply because they do not possess any AADHAAR Card.
“We would request the State not to insist on production of AADHAAR Card as the only proof of identity since there are other recognized options available to citizens of India to present their proofs of identity. List this matter after four weeks for further consideration”, the order reads./ILNS/SS/SNG