Update (23 September 2021): The government has issued an advisory that people with disabilities should be given vaccine at home. This “door-to-door vaccination” advisory was issued by the government merely 3 days after, in the petition Evara Foundation vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court had sought government’s view on the matter.
On 20 September 2021, the Supreme Court of India directed the Union Government to explain the steps taken to ensure proper COVID-19 vaccination for the persons with disabilities (PwD). The Court issued a notice to the government on the basis of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filled by Evara Foundation. The PIL seeks direction from the Court for providing vaccination at home for the PwD. The petitioner, Evara Foundation, argued that there are PwD who can not visit the vaccination center due to their disability or lack of accessibility at the centers. As a result they will be left behind in the on-going national drive of vaccination.
A Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and B.V. Nagarathna found merit in the PIL and asked the Solicitor General of India to reply within two weeks. Evara Foundation was represented by lawyer Pankaj Sinha. The PIL argued that the facility of vaccination at home must be provided as it fall within the purview of the “Principal of Reasonable Accommodation” as given in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. It is the obligation of the State to provide PwD with the quick and easy access to COVID-19 vaccine.
The PIL also urged the Court to direct the government to give preference to PwD while scheduling vaccination slots. The plea has also sought a dedicated helpline, besides CoWIN, for them to book their vaccination.
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