PIL filed in Manipur HC challenging notification prioritising vaccinated persons
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Osbert Khaling (an advocate and social activist) in the Manipur High Court challenging paragraph no 2 of the notification issued by the state government that prioritises vaccinated persons easing COVID-19 limitations.
The home department on June 30 had issued a notification stating that the government intends to relax curfew/containment zone orders by evaluating the COVID infection scenario.
However, the government prioritised the opening of institutions, organisations, factories, shops, markets, private offices, etc., based on the vaccination status of the citizens. The order shall also apply to NREGA job cardholders and workers of government and private projects, the notification read.
According to the petitioner, the notification does not align with the provisions of Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution.
The petition stated that there is nothing to show that vaccinated persons cannot be infected with coronavirus or cannot be spreaders. As the vaccinated and unvaccinated persons would have to follow the COVID protocols as per the notification, there is no justification for discrimination.
"Such notification debars the basic fundamental rights of the people which are the Right to Live and Right to Livelihood," the petition read.
The objective of the government is to ensure a degree of immunity in the people, at least to the extent of preventing dire consequences, if infected, it stated.
The petitioner's counsel also stated that such prioritisation of vaccination policy will further bring gaps and inequalities in society and disproportionately affect the poor and marginalised section of people.
The court has subsequently asked the respondents to file a response by June 27 and ordered that the notification shall not be given effect, even if the state resorts to any further relaxations until the next hearing, July 28.
According to a statement, the PIL was filed with the active initiative of the Human Rights Law Network (Manipur).
(With inputs from agencies)
(Edited by Aparmita Das)
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