The Bombay high court has asked the union health ministry to spell out in an affidavit as to how it plans to include homeless and mentally-ill citizens in its national vaccination drive on Wednesday.
A bench resided by chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni was looking into a PIL which raised concerns over the health of the homeless and mentally-ill patients. The petition stated that such citizens, especially the mentally-ill, are not in a position to take an informed decision and give their consent for vaccines.
Thus, the petition said, there is a need to include these citizens into the national policy.
Appearing for the Union health ministry additional solicitor general Anil Singh told the judges that he would take instructions and revert on the next date.
"Singh, not only instructions; you have to do something for these people. It is rightly pointed out that these citizens aren't in a position to give an informed consent," the bench responded.
The bench added, "We see so many homeless people on the streets. There is no check of their health. Also there is an issue on how to trace them as they aren't settled at one place. Look into all this and inform us how will you include them in your policy."
The matter will come up for hearing next week.