Center urges SC to intervene as HC vaccine requests can cause confusion | India News
Attorney General Tushar Mehta and lead attorneys Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing in Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, asked the SC to put together various allegations in different HCs and consider the issues.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian agreed to hear on March 18 the applications submitted by the two manufacturers, along with a pending PIL from Arvind Singh, who had sought direction for priority vaccination of lawyers, their staff, judges, judicial personnel and others involved in the justice administration system.
With the CSs entertaining the PILs seeking the vaccination of lawyers and judges, the Center got off the ground and told the CS that it could not discriminate against other professionals by vaccinating the legal community in breach of the policy of vaccinating the elderly. 60 years old and those over 45 with comorbidities.
The Delhi HC had recently criticized the Center for strictly controlling the use of vaccines manufactured by Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) and Serum Institute (Covishield) and questioned the export of the injections. “We are not using it completely. Either we are donating it to foreign countries or we are selling it and we are not vaccinating our own people. So, there has to be that sense of responsibility and urgency, ”said a bench of judges Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli on March 4. The HC had also sought details of the production capacity of the two manufacturers and an inventory of unused stock.
The Union government said it would not alter the political decision to vaccinate those over 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities. “The government of India has great respect for the profession, but it may not be desirable to create a separate class made up of lawyers or others under 45 years of age to discriminate against people who are engaged in other trades, professions or businesses, how such a classification would lead to discrimination, ”he said.
He informed the court that around 7.6 crore doses of the vaccine were shipped to states and UT as of Monday and that in the first 49 days of vaccination, India had inoculated 2.1 crore from its citizens versus 3, 2 crore in the US, 95.6 lakh in Turkey and 76 lakh in the UK. He said most states started vaccinating people over 75 and lowered the age limit gradually.
Probably responding to the HC in Delhi questioning exports, the Center said that there was a certain amount of doses that the available manpower and infrastructure could manage on a daily basis. India exported only the amount of doses that the two manufacturers produced in excess of the daily domestic requirement.
“Once the epidemic takes the form of a pandemic, it must be managed with the whole world as a unit in mind and it is not possible to take a country-specific approach. India is not immune to the pandemic until the world at large has contained the disease. Low / middle income countries, as well as nations with limited access to pharmaceutical technologies, are at a debilitating disadvantage in coping with the pandemic. To this end, the government has allowed only a limited export of vaccines, while giving the highest priority to domestic needs, ”said the Center.