The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni left the Union government red-faced, saying that it had "failed to conduct a surgical strike against Covid-19 virus." The bench further said that the Union government took delayed decisions for the citizens. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Dhruti Kapadia seeking door-to-door vaccination drive for senior citizens and bedridden persons. However, the Union health ministry through additional solicitor general Anil Singh submitted that a policy decision has been taken to vaccinate citizens near their homes but not door-to-door.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Datta said that it is an undisputed fact that the Covid-19 virus is one of the biggest enemies of the society. "We have to strike down this enemy which might be residing in the homes of citizens," CJ Datta said.
"Thus, a surgical strike (door-to-door vaccination) is required," the chief justice remarked, adding, "But when this strike is needed the most what you are doing is deploying your force near the borders (near the home policy) and are waiting for the virus to come to you. You should conduct the surgical strike." The bench said that the Union government took delayed decisions. "We are not denying that you haven't taken decisions for the public. But sorry to say your decisions are delayed," CJ Datta remarked, adding, "Had you taken this decision (door-to-door vaccination) earlier, we are of the view that several lives would have been saved."
During the hearing the bench noted that several states such as Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Odisha, Kerala and even Ranchi have started door-to-door vaccination drives. "When there hasn't been an adverse effect of this policy then why can't the Union take a policy decision?" Justice Kulkarni questioned.
At this, ASG Singh sought some time to respond but Justice Kulkarni said, "Mr ASG you can be in denial. In fact the cumulative effect of all this is that the state governments' have gone much ahead but the Union hasn't moved yet."
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