National

Kerala HC sets aside verdict allowing second dose of paid Covishield 4 weeks after first jab

| | Updated on: Dec 03, 2021
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‘There is no scope for any individual preference against the interest of the nation’

KC Gopakumar

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court, on Friday, set aside a Single Judges’ verdict allowing those willing to take a second paid dose of Covishield vaccine four weeks after the first jab, instead of the 84-day gap.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chali passed the verdict while allowing an appeal filed by the Centre against the Single Judge’s judgment.

Kitex petition

The Single Judge directive came on a writ petition filed by Kitex Garments and Kitex Childrenswear, Kochi, seeking a directive to the Centre to allow its workers to receive the second shot of Covishield before completing the stipulated 84-day gap between the two doses. Allowing the appeal of the Centre, the Bench observed: “We are of the view that Government of India has acted in terms of the scientific and expert advice, based on the studies conducted by them and, therefore, it is not for the Constitutional Courts to analyse the intrinsic aspects of the same, in order to arrive at a different conclusion, which is also impermissible in law. “Once it is established that the government has acted on the basis of such advice, it is for the government to decide how to go about it, in order to get rid of the emergent pandemic situation, which thus means, such expert advice, on the basis of scientific study, cannot possibly be substituted by a judgment of Constitutional Courts, especially when no materials are produced before the Court to show that the expert and scientific advices gave to the government are hasty, bad or ill-advised.”

Dismissing the contention of the petitioner, the court observed: “There is no scope for any such individual preference against the interest of the nation and citizens at large.”

The court added that once the provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 was invoked by the government, “the individual freedom and interest may have given way to the interest of the citizens of the country at large, failing which, the government would not be in a position to manage, coordinate, and implement the measures and activities taken for protecting the rights and liberties of the citizens at large, rather than self-centric and individual protection of the rights”.

Published on December 03, 2021

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