When court was informed that persons without ID cards could register through Cowin, it questioned whether beggars can avail such facilities
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Central government to reconsider its current protocol that doesn't allow door-to-door vaccination. The court also said that had the government incorporated such a policy earlier, it could have saved lives of senior citizens and specially-abled persons who were unable to visit vaccination centres.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S. Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed by city-based lawyers Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking directions to the Centre, the Maharashtra government and the BMC to provide door-to-door vaccination facility for people over 75 years of age, the specially-abled and the bed-ridden.
On April 22, observing that senior citizens should be given priority and cannot be left to die, the HC had directed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to have a relook at its decision and find a solution or “via media” to cater to requirement of the senior citizens of getting vaccinated.
On Wednesday, the HC noted that the Centre had not taken a decision as per its order yet and told the Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh that when the court had passed the reasoned order on April 22, the government should have considered either way.
When the court was informed that persons without any identity cards required for vaccination could simply register through Cowin website, it questioned whether beggars, homeless and transgenders can avail such facilities by complying with the modalities prescribed and also asked the Mumbai, Pune and other civic bodies to inform about steps taken to vaccinate such persons and the number of beneficiaries from such categories.
Justice Kulkarni said, “If we were to have door-door vaccination sometime back, so many of our prominent citizens across fields, who were not in good health, we could have saved them.”
CJ Datta also said that he, along with senior administrative judges, had a meeting with BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on Tuesday wherein he said by May 17, BMC would be putting in place a system of vaccination camps each across more than 200 wards in Mumbai.
“We will wait till Monday to see how they (BMC) are working it out,” said the CJ.