The central government on Monday opposed a PIL in Supreme Court seeking prioritisation of judges, lawyers and judicial staff in COVID-19 vaccine administration and said, "it may not be desirable to create a separate class consisting of judges, lawyers, and court staff below the age of 45 for administering the COVID-19 vaccine on a priority basis."
"It may not be desirable to create a separate class consisting of lawyers and others below 45 years of age discriminating persons engaged in other trade, profession or business and working under similar geographic conditions and circumstances as such a classification would necessarily lead to discrimination," read the affidavit filed by Manohar Agn, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Centre also stated that lawyers and judicial staff who are above 60 years of age or are above 45 years old with co-morbidities are anyway covered by the ongoing vaccination drive.
It also said the vaccine, which is already being produced beyond the manpower and infrastructural capacity, is also being exported in view of the global pandemic.
The central government filed the affidavit in a PIL filed by one Arvind Singh seeking the inclusion of judges, lawyers and court staff in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccination.
Meanwhile, the Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said it would hear on March 18 pleas of vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech seeking to transfer all cases pending before the High Court relating to COVID-19 vaccine to the Supreme Court, along with Arvind Singh's plea.
( With inputs from ANI )
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