Courts Update SC directs Central govt to make flexible policy for...

SC directs Central govt to make flexible policy for inoculation of vaccines to rural population in India

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New Delhi, May 31 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today took up the suo motu matter with regard to COVID-19 situation prevailing across the country.

The Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice L Nageswara Rao, and Justice S Ravindra heard the plea.

Justice Chandrachud said, “You keep saying that the situation is dynamic, but you have to keep your ears on the ground. You keep saying digital India, digital India, but you are not aware of the ground realities. A poor worker from Jharkhand has to go all the way to a common centre.”

Taking into the plight of large poor and illiterate population of the country, Justice Chandrachud asked the Centre, “You can certainly have registration, but how will you answer the digital divide ? How do you answer the question about migrant labourers, who have to go from one State to another?”

To which Solicitor General Tushar Mehta replied by reading the Central Government’s affidavit on this issue, “Registration on Co-WIN is made mandatory to ensure that crowding at the vaccination centre is controlled.”

He also added that this is for the larger welfare and it is a non-arbitrary policy. We have made some relaxations keeping the ground realities in mind and according to the changing situation. Please don’t take this as a final version. There is a change and we will place it.”

To which Justice Chandrachud said, “We are not changing the policy. We are asking you to please wake up and smell the coffee and see what’s happening across the country.”
Solicitor General also informed the court that walk-in vaccination is also being done subject to the availability of vaccines.
To which Justice Chandrachud sternly said, “We are not framing policy. There’s an order of 30th April that these are the problems. You will be flexible. You can’t just say that you’re the Centre and you know what’s right. We have a strong arm to come down on this.

“If we say there is a problem, we expect you to look into. Digital literacy in India is far from perfect. I am the Chairman of the e-Committee. I have seen the problems which afflict this. You have to be flexible and keep your ears on the ground.”

Thereafter, the Bench asked the Central Government to make a policy document on this issue and said, “We don’t want just an Affidavit. If there’s a policy document, we want to see it.” ILNS/ABV/RJ

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