Cannot order door-to-door Covid vaccination in this diverse country: SC

PTI New Delhi | Updated on September 08, 2021

Considering the diverse conditions of the country, door-to-door Covid-19 vaccination is not feasible, and a general direction to just scrap the existing policy cannot be given, said the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The top court, which refused to entertain a plea of a lawyers’ body seeking door-to-door jabs for the disabled and people belonging to weaker sections, said the vaccination drive is already in progress and over 60 per cent of the population has been administered the first dose.

‘Approach the Ministry’

A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli asked the petitioner, Youth Bar Association, to approach the competent authority at the Health Ministry with its suggestions.

“In Ladakh, the situation is different from Kerala. In Uttar Pradesh the situation is different from any other State. In urban areas the situation is different from rural areas. There are different kinds of problems in every State in this vast country,” said the Bench.

“With one brush you want an order for the entire country. The vaccination drive is already in progress and over 60 per cent of the population has been administered the first dose. One should understand the difficulty. This is a matter of governance; we cannot just scrap the existing policy,” it added.

The top court told advocate Baby Singh, appearing for the association, that a petition cannot be filed in a callous manner.

The petition sought direction to the Union of India and all States for door-to-door vaccination of less privileged, disabled, weaker sections as they face difficulty in registering themselves on the Co-WIN portal.

Can’t affect current policy

The Bench said: “The vaccination programme is already underway and this court is monitoring the situation in suo motu proceedings.”

It said that to pass general directions in view of the diversity of the country is not feasible and practical and added: “Any direction passed should not impinge upon the existing vaccination policy.”

When the petitioner’s counsel said the Health Ministry should be asked to consider the representation in a time bound manner, the Bench said: “We know under how much the pressure the Health Ministry officials are... they have to look for oxygen supplies besides looking into other aspects.”

Published on September 08, 2021

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