Rashid Paul

HC asks govt to take steps for anti-COVID vaccination of specially-abled persons in J&K

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Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and the J&K Union Territory administration for not vaccinating persons with disabilities against the Covid-19 virus.

The notice was issued in a petition by Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline, representing the specially-abled persons. It sought a direction to the respondents to treat all the persons with disabilities in J&K as a “special category”.

It also prayed that the authorities be directed to ensure vaccination of all the disabled persons in terms of the policy of the Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as also that of the government of Union Territory of J&K.

The petitioners made reference to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which enables all persons with disabilities certain benefits on priority basis.

Syed Musaib, appearing counsel for the petitioners, submitted that despite having approached the respondents in the shape of representations, no effective action has been taken for vaccination of the disabled persons in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

He further submitted that the vaccination of the persons with disabilities has become necessary because of the threat to their life on account of large number of them getting tested positive amid the killer pandemic.

The court issued notice to the respondents and listed the matter for further hearing on July 08.

“Meanwhile, the respondents shall take note of the claim of the petitioners made in the writ petition and take effective steps for their vaccination as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India,” directed the bench.

It asked the Additional Chief Secretary, and the Health and Medical Education Department J&K to file affidavit, indicating therein the steps for ensuring vaccination of the disabled persons in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The affidavit shall be filed by or before next date of hearing, directed the bench.

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