Inform citizens if vaccine unavailable: Bombay HC bats for systematic mechanism

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 01:24 PM, 10 Jun 2021

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that there needs to be some mechanism in place to make the people aware of the chances of non administration of vaccines. 

Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni while expressing their concerns in a plea filed by Anjali Navale and Yogeeta R Vanzara for orderly vaccine administration said, “Just booking is also not going to do right. The concern is that people do not queue up and get vaccines in the time slot allotted to them.”

The common grievance in the plea that has been raised is that those who have obtained appointments upon accessing the CoWIN portal are either made to wait for long hours for vaccination or are refused such vaccination on the ground that there is no stock. According to the petitioners, preference was being given to ‘on spot’ registrants who are walking-in for vaccination.

Representing the petitioners, Advocate Jamshed Master submitted that pursuant to the Court’s order he has given his recommendation with regards to creation of weekly plan for vaccine availability, fixed time for opening slots, walk in facility for age group of 18- 44 years with co morbidity and suggestions with respect to economic and backward class people to the Union and State. 

“Weekly plans have been published in places like Gadichiroli and Nandurbar whereas in Kolhapur plans till June 30 are published. Having a plan helps people to plan their officer leave, plan for their old parents and in general it would save time.”, Advocate Master further submitted.

Senior Advocate Anil Sakhare appearing for Bombay Municipal Corporation said that, “We get a notification about the quota that would be available on a given day. We arrange for our transport. The issue is with procurement as we do not get weekly quota from the State. Since we do not get a quota where we are told on Sunday that you will get 90K, then at least we can make a weekly plan.”

Earlier the court had directed the State to make earnest endeavour to ensure that elderly citizens are not made to stand in queues at the vaccination centres for long and that immediate steps are taken to vaccinate them without making them wait.

“We are inclined to reiterate that online registrants who have obtained appointments for vaccination upon accessing the CoWIN portal shall be given preference to ‘one spot registrants in the matter of vaccination.”, the Court had observed.

The Court thereafter while adjourning the matter for June 17, 2021 has directed the Bombay Municipal Corporation to file an affidavit giving their stand on the suggestions made by Advocate Jamshed Master. 

“If you feel some of the suggestions are workable, go ahead and implement them without waiting for our orders.”, the Court also said.