Mumbai, Apr 9 (PTI) Coming down heavily on some political leaders in Maharashtra receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at their residences, the Bombay High Court on Friday said if the prime minister and president of the country can go to hospitals and get inoculated, then politicians in the state should also follow suit.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocates Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari seeking door-to-door vaccination facility for senior citizens above the age of 75, specially-abled persons and those who are bed- ridden or wheel-chair bound.
Advocate Advait Sethna, appearing for the Centre, told the court that door-to-door vaccination facility was not yet available.
The bench asked if the policy was not available then how come some political leaders of Maharashtra were getting vaccinated in their homes.
'Political leaders in Maharashtra are getting the jab sitting at their homes. If policy does not permit door-to- door, then how come for these politicians the policy is different. There has to be uniform policy for all,' Chief Justice Datta said.
'Everyone including the prime minister and president of India are going to centres and hospitals to get the vaccine. The political leaders of Maharashtra are not a class apart. This sends a wrong message,' the court said.
The court warned the concerned state department of action if it came across any such incident in future.
'Whatever has happened has happened but, henceforth, if we find or come across any such report that a politician got a jab at home then we will take action,' Chief Justice Datta said.
The bench also noted another issue of concern in the state, that is lack of vaccines.
'The state is running out of stock of vaccines. This is another concern that needs to be addressed,' Chief Justice Datta said.
The bench posted the petition for further hearing on April 21 and said it would also look into how the process of registering for the vaccine can be made more user-friendly.
'The process is presently online. Many people, especially elders, in our country do not have access to the internet. This also needs to be looked into,' the court said.
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