New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday observed that the two institutes, which have developed the two vaccines -- Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech -- have more capacity but don’t seem to be exploiting that.
"We are not utilising it fully. We are either doling out vaccines to foreign countries or selling it to them and are not vaccinating our own people. But, what is needed is a sense of responsibility and urgency," a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said.
The high court further directed the two institutes to file separate affidavits listing their capacity to manufacture vaccines per day/ week/ month and how much of that capacity is lying idle.
They also need to indicate whether they can scale up their production capacities, the court said.
The Bench also asked the Centre to explain the rationale behind keeping strict control over the class of persons who can be vaccinated – such as those above the age of 60 years or with comorbidities. "An affidavit to be filed by the Union government disclosing the rationale for such classification," it said.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma and advocate Anil Soni, representing the Centre, informed the court that selection of class of people for vaccination was a policy decision which was taken by an expert body.
The high court was hearing a PIL initiated by it to examine the demand of Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) to declare all people associated with the judicial functioning, including judges, court staff and lawyers, as "frontline workers" so that they could receive COVID-19 vaccination on priority and without limitations of their age or physical condition.
The Bench said the issue here is to find out if the whole judicial system, including judges, lawyers and court staff, can be prioritised without age and co-morbidities limitation.