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No relief for unvaccinated teacher who challenged a circular that made vaccination a requirement

Legal Correspondent: Sarthak Dixit

November 18, 2021: According to PTI, the Directorate of Education issued an order on September 29 stating that "any such teachers and school employees who have not been vaccinated by October 15, 2021, should not be permitted to attend school and their absence would be classified as on leave." The court denied the teacher's request for temporary relief, indicating that the court would not intervene unless there was a medical concern.

“I am not inclined. Why should she not get vaccinated? There is not a case for interim relief,” said Justice Rekha Palli, adding that the teacher puts everyone at risk.

The Delhi government's counsel, Siddharth Krishna, opposed the plea, claiming that permitting the petitioner to return to school would endanger the pupils. The teacher's senior lawyer, Sanjoy Ghose, indicated that his client "does not wish to expose her body to external chemicals" and that she now has good immunity, since her antibody count was 427. Ghose stated the client is prepared to take the Covid-19 exam every month and practise Covid-19 proper behaviour, pleading with the court to enable the petitioner to return to work.

Vaccination was voluntary, according to the attorney, and not being vaccinated was not a crime. The attorney also argued that there was no evidence that mandated vaccination stopped the virus from spreading, and urged the court to allow the petitioner to return to work since she is willing to undergo a COVID test every month and practise COVID proper behaviour.

The court has dismissed the application for interim relief and clarified that merely because the petitioner is willing to get vaccinated it should not be seen as the court is ignoring the prior lapse. The court has directed that the matter be listed along with other pending petitions challenging the order.


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