Karnataka HC directs the State Government to evolve a mechanism/scheme to vaccinate persons with disability

On Tuesday, The Karnataka High Court directed the State Government to evolve a scheme to prioritise people with benchmark disabilities.

A Division Bench of Hon’ble Justice Abhay Ojha and Hon’ble Justice Suraj Govindaraj ordered that the State consider a district welfare officer or other officer receives requests for vaccination through WhatsApp, email, SMS etc. from people suffering from Benchmark disabilities or their caregivers.

The State should also ensure that such people are not made to wait in queues, the Bench directed.

These directions were given in a plea filed by KARNATAKA RAJYA VIKALACHETHANARA RAKSHANA SAMITHI, wherein they sought vaccination on a priority basis for people with disabilities.

In its order, the Court noted that as per Section 25(1) c of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, local authorities and the State must ensure that people with disabilities are prioritised for treatment. Such treatment would include Covid vaccination.

Learned Counsel who appeared for the petitioners submitted that due to disabilities, a person can’t maintain social distance, might not wear a mask or avoid touching, which puts them at higher risk. The only way to ensure such peoples are safe is to vaccinate them and their caregivers on priority.

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AG Prabhuling K Navadgi assured the Bench that necessary steps will be taken as per the  Right of people with disability.

The Bench directed the State Government to submit the steps it has taken by the next date of hearing (May 12).

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