Vaccination For Legal Fraternity: Delhi HC Registers Suo Motu PIL

Vaccination For Legal Fraternity: Delhi HC Registers Suo Motu PIL

“The need of the hour is to vaccinate the common people, in view of the intense Pandemic, on a war footing to safeguard the life and health of all those who step out of their homes to attend to their pursuits and professions. Hon’ble Courts, by their very nature, are places which have very high-density gatherings of people on the everyday basis.” – Observed by Hon’ble Delhi High Court.

The Hon’ble Delhi HC on Wednesday registered a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (hereinafter referred as “PIL”) to vaccinate all persons associated with judicial functioning including the Hon’ble Judges, Court Staff, and Lawyers, considering them as “frontline workers”, on a significance basis, without restrictions of their age or physical condition. Finding weight in the statement made by Delhi Bar Council’s Chairman. 

The Hon’ble bench noted that “In light of the aforementioned, it appears to us that there is weight in the claim made by the Bar Council of Delhi. Taken note of the serious conditions from which the Hon’ble Judges, the Court staff and Advocates may, or may not, be suffering. Even if, they are not found to be suffering from one of the co-morbidities, it does not mean that the probability of their contracting the disease and suffering serious health issues including fatality, does not exist.” The order reads.

With respect to the communication made by Delhi Bar Council to the Chief Justice of Delhi HC, suitable directions were requested to be issued on the medical and administrative authorities to make available necessary infrastructure comprising medical facilities in the Court premises for the purpose of vaccination of judges, court staffs and lawyers by treating them as frontline workers.

Observing the seriousness of the disease, the Hon’ble division bench observed “Hundreds and thousands of cases are listed in any given Court complex every day. Apart from judges, the Court staff, and Advocates attending their respective cases, and a large number of litigants visit Courts, therefore the need of the hour is to vaccinate the crowds, in view of the raging Pandemic. 

Considering the availability of two vaccines available in India, namely Covishield and Covaxin, the Hon’ble Court issued notice to its manufacturer companies Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. Additionally, the Hon’ble Court also issued notice to the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GNCT of Delhi. The notices are returnable on 4th March 2021 before the Hon’ble Chief Justice, DN Patel.

PIL: Court on its motion vs. Union of India & Ors. 

Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vipin Sanghi, Hon’ble Ms. Justice Rekha Palli