Published: 31st May 2021
Delhi HC asks Govt to decide on plea seeking to prioritise NRIs, students going abroad for COVID vaccination
The Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh directed the Centre to decide the representation as per law, rules and regulations
The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the concerned authority to decide the plea as representation, seeking direction to prioritize vaccination for people, including NRIs holding a valid visa of foreign countries who normally reside and work and the respective foreign country and also for those students who opt for foreign education with a valid offer letter from the Universities abroad.
The Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh directed the Centre to decide the representation as per law, rules and regulations.
The Petitioner, Pravasi legal cell (NGO) further sought the issuance of directions to the respondents to provide the option to include passport numbers in the vaccination certificate and an option to update the vaccination certificate already issued with passport numbers for those people who intend to travel abroad.
Advocates MP Srivignesh, Robin Raju, Deepa Joseph filed the petition and sought direction to the respondents to take appropriate steps to include Covaxin in World Health Organization's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and to provide the complete name of the Covishield vaccine in the vaccination certificate i.e. "Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine".
Advocate Jose Abraham, appearing for the petitioner also stated that most of the foreign countries are accepting only people who have vaccinated.
"Until the migrant community who have a valid visa of foreign countries and intend to travel abroad for continuing their job are vaccinated, they will be in a difficult position to hold, considering the present pandemic scenario and unless and until the migrant community including the NRIs who have a valid visa of foreign countries are put in the priority list of vaccination, they would be in a position to return back as it will take time for the 2 doses of vaccination to get over and by the time it is done, there are high chances that they might lose their jobs also," the petition said.
The plea noted that most Indian students who have got admissions to foreign universities have to travel abroad by the month of August and September when the academic year starts, and many universities are expecting Indian students to get themselves fully vaccinated before they reach the respective countries.
It also added that foreign countries accept the Vaccination certificate only when they have the Passport number on it.
"So, a vaccination certificate carrying the Aadhaar number in place of the passport number cannot be produced as a valid document with the latest rules in many countries," the plea reads.
The vaccine beneficiaries who have been fully vaccinated by both doses of Covaxin might not be allowed to travel internationally as the vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech has not been included in World Health Organization's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) yet, the plea stated.