'Your officials are completely insensitive. Instead of making elderly people rush to the (vaccination) centres, you (government) must reach out to them,' Bombay HC said
The court reiterated that the Centre needs to rethink its policy that says door-to-door inoculation drive was not possible
In view of the tsunami of coronavirus infections and deaths in the country, the Bombay High Court has lashed out at the central government for not starting door-to-door Covid-19 vaccination for senior citizens, specially-abled, and bed-ridden people on Thursday.
"We are very much disheartened with the central government. Central government officials really disappointed us. Your officials are completely insensitive. Instead of making elderly people rush to the (vaccination) centres, you (government) must reach out to them," the court said.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni reiterated that the Centre needs to rethink its policy that says door-to-door inoculation drive was not possible.
The bench noted that the Centre's expert committee was working on surmises by saying door-to-door vaccination was not possible at present because of the probability that people might develop an adverse reaction to the vaccine.
"Is there any scientific data which shows that because of a particular vaccine a person has developed complications? Where is the data that even a single person has died after taking the vaccine? The expert committee should opine one way or the other. There cannot be any ifs and buts," the HC said.
The HC directed chairman of the 'National Expert Group for Vaccine Administration of COVID-19' (NEGVAC) set up by the Centre to consider the issue of introducing door-to-door drive and posted the matter for further hearing on June 2.
Further, the Bombay HC also slammed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for filing an affidavit saying it would start door-to-door vaccination only after the central government issues guidelines for the same.
"We are very disappointed with this stand. We are aghast to know that the BMC has succumbed to pressure," Chief Justice Datta said.
The court further said the BMC was so active on social media about the good work it was doing for citizens, but it was not willing to start the door-to-door vaccination drive.
"You (BMC) cannot discriminate like this," it said.
The bench said if the BMC was willing to introduce door-to-door vaccination drive for senior citizens, specially-abled persons and those who are bed-ridden or wheelchair-bound, then the court would grant permission despite no nod from the Centre.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocates Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking a direction to the government to start door-to-door inoculation programme for senior citizens above the age of 75 and others who are unable to go to the vaccination centres.
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