Supreme Court directs NGO to share suggestions with Court & Centre on home vaccination for disabled persons

  • Gautam Mishra
  • 01:40 PM, 06 Dec 2021

The Supreme Court on Friday has directed the NGO Evara Foundation to share its suggestions with the Court and the Central government in a plea seeking administration of Covid-19 vaccines to persons with disabilities and their caregivers at their place of residence.

A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna noted that the suggestions "would be the subject matter of further deliberations, with a view to consider if the existing framework for vaccination of the disabled needs to be suitably strengthened by incorporating additional safeguards or facilities."

The Court directed the NGO to formulate any concrete suggestions which they may have to strengthen the existing framework for facilitating the vaccination of the disabled and to ensure that they have proper access to vaccination against Covid-19.

The bench further noted that, "In this regard, it would be necessary to bear in mind the provisions, including those of reasonable accommodation, which are embodied in Section 5 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016."

Earlier, the Court citing that the matter involves vaccination of persons with disability issued notice to the Centre and sought its response while also requesting the Solicitor General to assist the Court in the matter.

According to the petition, organisations such as Centre for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Lancet International have published reports citing that persons with disability are at a higher risk of contracting the virus than the others.

The petition further states that there are some families with more than one person with disability who find it difficult to visit the vaccination centres. It further cites that the lockdown imposed by States on account of Covid-19 has made it even more difficult for persons with disabilities to visit vaccination centres.

The petition cites Section 25 of the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2006 to establish that the government is duty bound to make medical facilities accessible.

It is urged in the petition that the vaccination program can be carried out by the states using Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) with the help of Anganwadi or Asha workers. The petition further states that countries like the United Kingdom (UK) and Israel are already carrying out special programs to vaccinated persons with disabilities.

Cause Title: Evara Foundation Vs. Union of India & Ors.