The SC expects the Centre's reply on a door-to-door covid vaccination programme for disabled persons
Legal Correspondent: Sarthak Dixit
September 20, 2021: The Central government was questioned by the Supreme Court on Monday and expects a response on a plea which seeks to start a door-to-door vaccination against COVID-19 for the differently abled with utmost priority where Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was requested to assist the Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud and in its order the Court ordered,
“Since the plea raises substantial questions dealing with rights of the disabled. We issue notice to the Union of India. We would request learned SG Tushar Mehta to assist us with regarding steps taken and steps which will be taken to assuage concerns of petitioners. List this after 2 weeks”
The NGO Evara Foundation, in the plea, mentions the greater risks of contracting COVID-19 faced by persons with disability and also the problems in following general guidelines such as maintain hygiene, social distancing, underlying health conditions, etc and requested the Court to provide notice to all states as well, but the Court rejected the plea for the time being, stating that if they issue notices to States, it would take two months and that they would like to see what the Central government has planned.
Advocate Shashank Singh also brings to light the highly cumbersome process of scheduling an appointment at vaccination centres and therefore persons with disabilities are facing various difficulties, additionally adding that travelling to vaccination centres during continuous lockdowns is a difficult undertaking for such individuals, according to the petition.
“Section 3 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, mandates that appropriate government shall take necessary steps to ensure reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities," the petition stated.
The plea also provides a solution by allowing the persons with disabilities and their immediate caregivers to be vaccinated at their own residence and sought preference in scheduling slots for the ones that are able to get to the centres.
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