Mumbai: Bombay High Court slams state for vaccinating some politicians at their home

The Maharashtra and the union government got a heavy dose of sorts from the Bombay High Court, on Friday, after it was informed that door-to-door vaccination won't be feasible. While noting that the prime minister and the president got their jabs at dedicated vaccination centers, the court sought to know why some politicians in the state got inoculated in their respective homes.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni further warned that it would not hesitate to initiate action if politicians continue to get vaccinated at their homes. The bench was seized with a plea filed by advocate Dhruti Kapadia, seeking directives to the Maharashtra and union government to allow door-to-door vaccination for senior citizens, physically disabled and bedridden patients.

The plea claimed that senior citizens and physically disabled people aren't well versed with the online mechanism and need assistance to get registered. It also stated that some citizens also find it difficult to visit the dedicated centers.

Pursuant to an earlier hearing, the union, on Friday, told the bench that door-to-door vaccination would not be feasible. During the hearing, the bench noted that certain political leaders have received jabs at their homes.

Questioning the same in view of the stand that door-to-door inoculation isn't feasible, CJ Datta said, "How is that important political leaders get the COVID-19 jab at their home if there is no door-to-door policy? Shouldn't there be a uniform policy?"

The judges further noted that the president as well as the PM had visited the vaccination centers to get their jabs. "We fail to understand why politicians in Maharashtra can't go to the vaccine centers. This, especially in view of the fact that the PM also visited a dedicated center," CJ Datta sought to know. "They (politicians in Maharashtra) aren't class apart. Even the president went to a hospital. Giving vaccines to politicians at home sends a wrong message to the society," the chief justice added.

During the course of the hearing, the judges noted that there is a shortage of stock of vaccines in the state. "That is another concern to be addressed in a relevant situation. This is not an adversarial litigation," CJ Datta told the union government.

The bench, while posting the matter for further hearing till April 21, ordered the union government to file an affidavit and spell out its exact stand regarding the improvements to be made in the online mechanism for senior citizens. "There has to be something for the senior citizens and simplify online procedure," the bench said, while adjourning the matter till April 21.

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