Despite large-scale vaccination, there are chances of a rise in Covid-19 cases. However, this can be attributed to people dropping their guards after getting vaccinated and not following Covid-appropriate behaviour especially during the festive season, observed the Bombay High Court on Monday.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni made the observations while hearing a public interest litigation filed by social worker Firoz Mithiborwala, seeking quashing of the Maharashtra government’s SOPs and notification not permitting train travel for unvaccinated persons.
Mithiborwala has claimed in his PIL that the government guidelines dated August 10, and the notification dated August 11, are in violation of the fundamental rights of citizens under Article 14 (Equality before law), Article 19 (Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc) and Article 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution of India and hence should be quashed.
Agreeing with the SOPs, the HC said that if the government imposes restrictions in larger public interest, they cannot be termed illegal and mala fide.
Th judges said that there was spike in Covid cases in Kerala after Onam. People themselves are responsible for the surge as they tend to become negligent and drop their guards. The judges said once people are vaccinated they are satisfied that they are safer and this could lead to negligence and dropping of guard. Besides, it is an individual’s choice whether to get vaccinated or not, noted the HC.
Drawing parallel with accidents, the judges said that despite awareness campaigns, lakhs of people die every year due to road accidents. Can it then be said that the awareness campaign was faulty, asked the judges.
Mithiborwala’s advocate argued that there are cases where fully vaccinated people have got infected with coronavirus and that infection is more dangerous. Asking whether there was any scientific study to prove this, the judges said no one has claimed that a vaccinated person will never get infected.
When the advocate said that Iceland had vaccinated all its citizens, the judges observed it was unfair to compare India and Iceland, which had population of three lakh.
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