High Court Delhi HC adjourns hearing to Mar 19 in case...

Delhi HC adjourns hearing to Mar 19 in case related to COVID vaccination for lawyers

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New Delhi, Mar 13 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today adjourned the matter to March 19 on the need for Covid-19 vaccination for Judges, Court Staff and Lawyers, for considering them as frontline workers, as a similar petition is pending before the Supreme Court.

Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli adjourned the matter, after Senior Counsel for Bharat Biotech International Limited Neeraj Kishan Kaul submitted that it has moved a transfer petition before the Supreme Court on a similar issue, which is likely to come up for hearing on March 15.

Hearing the suo motu plea initiated by itself on the need for Covid-19 vaccination for Judges, Court Staff and Lawyers, Justice Sanghi said on Wednesday, “Judiciary is one of the three wings of the Government and cannot consider this with other places.”

Senior Counsel for the Government of National Capital territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Rakesh Khanna today submitted before the Court that vaccination and proper facilities for administering the same ought to be provided within those premises, at least in so far as the eligible citizens are concerned, that is, those persons above the age of 60 years, or between the age group of 45-59 years, and have co-morbidities, so that eligible advocates, members of the court staff and Judges can be vaccinated.

The GNCTD said that it was willing to render all cooperation in this regard. In response, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government, submitted that this aspect shall be addressed at the administrative level, once the
Secretary (Health) of the Central Government is approached in this regard by the concerned corresponding officials of the GNCTD.

Earlier, the High Court had observed, “Courts are places of congregation. Hundreds or thousands of people are coming to Courts everyday. Judges, lawyers and staff are all the same. Risk of exposure is increasing.” 

To this, Mr Mehta had said that the Government had set the priority for Covid-19 vaccination upon certain fundamental facts. Only those who are 60-plus or persons with co-morbidities have been considered for the first phase of vaccination. They have not even considered railway workers, Airport Workers, like traders. They are also working in crowded places. Even doctors, who are health workers, they are not even considered for vaccination drive. Only those who are directly associated with Covid patients are considered, he had added.

“Let the first priority be the vulnerable section. Age wise and co-morbidity wise,” said Mr Mehta. ILNS/SNG/JR

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