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Rajasthan HC hauls up govt over Covid-19 vaccination for Pak migrants

The division bench of Justices Rameshwar Vyas and Vijay Bishnoi also directed the state government on Thursday to explain why it is not considering Pakistani Migrants who are not in possession of ID cards eligible for vaccination.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur |
June 4, 2021 2:23:37 am
The department has been saving Covaxin doses for people who are due to receive their second dose. Slots for second doses in the 18-44 age group will be opened after mid-June. (file)

The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday said it is difficult to understand why the Rajasthan government is seeking further clarification from the Central government regarding Covid-19 vaccination of Pakistani Hindu migrants living in the state when the court has already said they are eligible for inoculation.

The division bench of Justices Rameshwar Vyas and Vijay Bishnoi also directed the state government on Thursday to explain why it is not considering Pakistani Migrants who are not in possession of ID cards eligible for vaccination.

The court had observed in its order on May 28 that the May 6 SOP on Covid-19 vaccination of persons without prescribed identity cards issued by the Central government in no way excludes Pakistani migrants. It had also asked the state government to submit a detailed report regarding compliance of the guidelines given in the Centre’s May 6 SOP.

On Thursday, the court said the state government didn’t submit the compliance report and instead, submitted notes and letters written by various other entities.

“It is noticed that once this Court in its order dated 28.05.2021 has already opined that SOP dated 06.05.2021 is not excluding the Pakistani Minority Migrants, who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, then it is difficult to understand that why the State Government is seeking further clarification from the Central Government and requesting it to include the Pakistani Minority Migrants in the SOP dated 06.05.2021,” the court said.

Sajjan Singh, amicus curiae appearing on behalf of the Pakistani migrants submitted on Thursday that even the Pakistani minority migrants, who are declared as citizens of this country, are not being vaccinated on the ground that they are not having Aadhaar cards.

He further submitted that as far as ration/food packets for these migrants are concerned, the same are being made available to those residing in Jodhpur city but in other districts, including Jaisalmer, Barmer and Jaipur, no such ration/food packets are being made available to them.

“In such circumstances, we are forced to direct the Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur to submit a detailed affidavit regarding the steps taken by the State Government in every District as per the procedure given in Clause-5 of the SOP dated 06.05.2021 and also to explain that why the State Government is not treating the Pakistani Minority Migrants, who are not having prescribed identity cards, eligible for COVID-19 vaccination though this Court vide order dated 28.05.2021 has already clarified that such Pakistani Minority Migrants are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination as per the SOP dated 06.05.2021,” the court said in its order on Thursday.

The next hearing is scheduled for on June 10.

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