Legal Correspondent: Malaika Kadam
The State Government of Meghalaya has been directed by the Hon’ble High Court to not consider Aadhar as the only identity proof for vaccination. The order was passed on hearing a Suo Moto PIL, by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder and Justice H.S. Thangkhiew. The PIL was concerned with two issues, vis a vis, mandatory vaccination, and the method of implementation of the Government Welfare Scheme for the marginalized section of the Meghalaya population.
In the former issue, the Court was of the view that a detailed approach is required since vaccination cannot be made mandatory, and nothing was held decided. The Court said that many eligible persons, especially from remote villages, won’t get vaccinated owing to their inability to produce the Aadhar Card, the only valid identity proof for vaccination as per the currently adopted vaccination policy. The order of the Court read, “We would request the State not to insist on production of Aadhar Card as the only proof of identity since there are other recognized options available to citizens of India to present their proofs of identity. List this matter after four weeks for further consideration.”
In the latter issue, on June 23, the Secretaries of various District Legal Services Authority were provided with directions by the Court to enquire whether relevant steps are being taken by the respective departments for the implementation of the aforementioned welfare schemes in a time-bound manner, following the guidelines given, and were asked to submit the reports to the Member Secretary, Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority, Shillong.
The Registry informed the Bench on August 24 that detailed reports have been produced by the Secretaries of District Services Legal Authority. The Registry will forward a summary of the report to the Advocate General and the respective authority of the State of Meghalaya, to reply to it on the next hearing. The Court permitted them to inspect the on-record detailed reports upon prior notice to the Registry.
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