The Bombay high court on Friday directed the Union government to approve the proposed action plan of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to re-vaccinate citizens who fell victim to fake anti-COVID vaccination camps in the city within, seven days. The HC has also asked the police to complete the probe in 30 days and submit a report.
While directing the Union government, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni said "approve the BMC's plan of action, with or without modifications, within seven days" from now.
The HC issued directions to the Union government after BMC counsel Anil Sakhare said that it had re-vaccinated 161 of the 2053 people, who had fallen victim to such fake camps. Earlier, he had said that the victims had been administered saline water instead of the anti-covid vaccine.
Sakhare told HC: “Of the 391 cases at Hiranandani in Kandivali, 363 people were traced and 161 of them vaccinated. We are in the process of getting the remaining of the total 2,053 victims re-registered on the CoWin portal so that they can be re-vaccinated correctly.”
One of the points in the civic body’s proposed action plan is to de-register all such victims from the CoWin portal so that they can re-register on the portal and get the correct vaccine administered.
“The victims cannot get re-registered without the centre's approval,” argued Sakhare.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appearing for the Union government said that at this point de-registration from the CoWin portal was not possible. “De-registration from the portal was not possible presently. But the union government will look into it,” said Singh.
However, he said that victims could re-register on CoWin. “For the time being, the victims can re-register on the portal for vaccination,” added Singh.
The judges remarked that the Centre should have no objection to looking into the BMC's plan.
The HC observed: “Consider BMC's proposed plan of action and do the needful. The victims can perhaps be granted fresh registration (on the CoWin portal) with some remarks identifying them for re-vaccination.”
The court also granted an additional 30 days to the Mumbai police to complete its probe into the incident of one such fake vaccination camps, held in a housing society in the Kandivali area in the city.
Public prosecutor Aruna Pai had informed HC the first FIR in the fake vaccination camps was registered in May this year at Kandivali police station. She had said earlier this month that a chargesheet was likely to be filed in the Kandivali case soon.
On Friday, Pai told HC that while the police's probe into the Kandivali FIR was complete, the chargesheet has not filed as yet as the police is awaiting a "chemical analysis report" from the Haffkine Institute.
The HC has asked the Haffkine Institute to provide the report expeditiously. The HC observed: “No one involved in the scam should be let off. We direct the Haffkine Institute to provide the chemical analysis report to police as soon as possible.”
Asking the police to complete the probe in 30 days, HC said “We grant the investigating officer 30 days as requested to complete the probe and place on record the probe report before this court.”
HC will continue hearing the plea on August 30.
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