Observing that India is supplying vaccines to several nations, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday said our nation would not follow any other foreign countries in terms of door-to-door vaccination drive for Covid19. The HC said in fact other countries must be following India.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni also noted that the present mechanism of the Union government for online registration of citizens to get inoculated needs certain improvements, especially for the senior citizens.
"Some changes are mandatory, especially for senior citizens and other citizens, who might be bed ridden or differently abled," CJ Datta said.
Adding to the remark, Justice Kulkarni said that the present mechanism needs to be more user-friendly. "We cannot expect that all senior citizens know how to use the online mechanism. We believe there must be a helpline number, which can help senior citizens to get registered for the vaccine," Justice Kulkarni opined.
The judge, while giving his personal experience said, "My father is wheelchair bound. We couldn't take him to the vaccination centers and he hasn't taken the jab yet. There might be more worst cases. Several citizens are even bed ridden, what about them? How would they get the jabs?" the judge said.
The bench was dealing with a PIL filed by advocate Dhruti Kapadia seeking a directive to the Union and Maharashtra governments and also the BMC to provide door-to-door vaccination to senior citizens, physically disabled and bed ridden citizens. She has argued that such category of citizens firstly find it difficult to register themselves and further also face several difficulties in reaching the vaccination centers.
Having noted her prayers, the chief justice said that in a previous meeting with the BMC chief Iqbal Chahal, he was informed that vaccination drive cannot be done anywhere and only at specific hospitals since the same requires a mandatory attached ICU.
"Thus, we don't know if door-to-door can be allowed. Also, that is a policy decision of the Union health ministry. Why don't you make a representation there also?" CJ Datta told Kapadia.
However, Kapadia tried to convince the judges with her online research, wherein she has come across instances of various nations allowing door-to-door inoculation.
Interrupting her submission, CJ Datta said, "We (India) are not going to follow any foreign countries. You must know we are supplying vaccines to several nations. Thus, other countries would follow us."
Further, CJ Datta noted that certain changes could be made to the present vaccination policy. "Let the authorities spell out if door-to-door inoculation could be feasible at all," the CJ said while adjourning the matter.