COVID-19 LAW INSIDER IN

Delhi High Court refuses to interfere with Government’s vaccination policy

Sushree Mohanty

The Delhi High Court stated that the Government has its policy for the vaccination drive and it sees no requirement to change the priority list decided by the Centre while hearing a plea seeking to consider the inclusion of judges, judicial staffs, advocates and the individuals from the legal fraternity in the primary phase of COVID-19 vaccination.

The Court has refused to interfere with the government’s “priority policy decision” in regards to those to be given a priority for vaccination of Covid-19 in the national capital.

The Hon’ble Court also directed the concerned authorities to treat the request for inclusion of judges, judicial staff, advocates and members from the fraternity as per the rules of law and guidelines.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said, “The government has its own priority and we see no reason to change it for Covid-19 vaccination because it is a policy decision of the respondent authorities concerned, which is based on a variety of factors.”

“Nonetheless, looking at facts and circumstances of the case, the petition be treated as a representation and the grievances in it be decided in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the facts of the case,” the bench added..

The plea was filed by Mr. Amrender Singh, a practising advocate who in his petition claimed that the whole Rule of Law relies upon the working of courts where the prosecutors and litigants are enduring delays in the conveyance of justice in absence of ordinary working of courts.

The petition claimed that the Government neglected to include the members from the legal fraternity for its first vaccination drive without having regard to the life, well being and health of the Judges, advocates and other staff of the judiciary.

The petition additionally alleged that since “justice was being delayed” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the judicial staff and legal fraternity should likewise be considered for immunization in the first stage so the legal work and courts can proceed as it did before the pandemic.

The Supreme Court Bar Association on January 18, 2021, through a letter, filed a request to the Union Law Minister to extend out the immunization and vaccination drive to Judges, judicial staff and legal advisors who work in the judicial system, yet no move has been made till date to include the, for the present inoculation drive.

Read also: PIL in Delhi HC to include members of judicial system in phase 1 of COVID-19 vaccination