Chhattisgarh: State Faces High Court Orders to Strike a Balance in COVID-19 Vaccination

Story Highlights
  • HC orders state authorities to practice equitable administration of COVID jabs
  • Division bench of chief justice P R Ramachandra Menon and justice P P Sahu released the order
  • Directed state officials to connect with senior officials of relevant departments to implement the order

Raipur: The Chhattisgarh high court has ordered the state government to accommodate a reasonable ratio of allotment of vaccines to the ‘Antyodaya group’ -the economically weaker section—the persons belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) and persons Above Poverty Line (APL) for vaccination against Covid-19 for people of 18­44 age group.

After the commencement of the third phase of vaccination drive, several applications were filed to seek intervention in a Suo moto writ petition.   Citing this, a division bench of chief justice P R Ramachandra Menon and justice P P Sahu said,” the state shall fix a reasonable ratio for vaccines with reference to all the relevant aspects including the vulnerability, chance to spread the disease and the number of eligible persons in the group.”

Accordingly, the high court directed the state authorities to convene with the senior officials of the relevant departments and implement an equitable distribution of the vaccine amongst both the BPL and APL sectors for the age group of above 18 and below 45 years. The order read,” the implementation of state government order of April 30, stands modified to the said extent and shall be subject to the ratio of allotment to be made as above. This shall be done and given effect to forthwith.”

In regards to the  order issued by additional chief  secretary fixing priority for economically weaker sections in vaccination to protect the poor, illiterate and less fortunate citizens, the high court said,” a scheme should be formulated by the state by earmarking appropriate share of the vaccines to them as well and set up ‘Help Desks’ providing spot registration and administer vaccines to them, without compromising the right of the other segments who are entitled to have equal treatment with  regard to the right to life.”

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