Bombay HC| Sameera Siddiqui | Social Thikana
The Union did not rise to the occasion. However, the State did and showed the light at the end of the tunnel," the Court recorded in its order. The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that it has formulated a policy for door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination on an experimental basis for the elderly and persons with disabilities (Dhruti Kapadia & Anr v. Union of India & Ors).
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni informed the Court that as per a survey undertaken by the State government, it was found that over 3,500 patients within the jurisdiction of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had expressed interest in being vaccinated at home.
in view of this, the State has decided to start the vaccination drive from August 1, 2021 at Mumbai and then proceed to other regions. Senior Advocate Anil Sakhare, appearing for BMC, informed the Court that the corporation was fully equipped to start the drive and that they would utilise the time till August 1 to organise and mobilise their resources.
Appreciating the efforts of the State government, the Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni directed the civic authorities to submit a report on the progress of the vaccination drive. The report will record the number of cases having after effects of immunisation and how the vaccinators managed to tackle those cases.
The Court was hearing a plea seeking door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination for citizens above 75 years of age and those who are specially-abled or bed-ridden. The plea sought for this policy from the Central government on an urgent basis. Earlier, Advocate Dhruti Kapadia, appearing as petitioner-in-person, had informed the Court that several state governments in India and municipal corporations in Maharashtra had initiated door-to-door vaccination for their citizens without waiting for a policy from the Centre.
The Bench had observed in an earlier hearing that there is no prohibition imposed by the Centre on states from carrying out door-to-door COVID-19 vaccinations for elderly and disabled citizens in view of the Centre's submissions that its policy for 'near to door' vaccination was merely an advisory.
The State government then informed the Court that it will not seek the Centre's approval for conducting door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination on an experimental basis after the Court expressed its displeasure at the State's earlier stance that it was willing to conduct door-to-door vaccination once the Centre gives its approval.