Published: 24th January 2023
Delhi HC grants relief to teacher, says vaccine cannot be insisted upon by the employer
A history teacher in the Government Girls Senior Secondary School, New Usmanpur, Gautam Puri had moved court in 2021 to be able to teach perform other duties without being required to be vaccinated
The Delhi High Court has ruled employers cannot force employees to take the Covid-19 vaccine. The decision was made by a single-judge bench, led by Justice Pratibha M Singh, while hearing a plea from a government school teacher who sought to be able to teach and perform other duties without being required to be vaccinated. All pending applications on this issue will be disposed, as per a report by IANS.
The bench granted relief to the petitioner by allowing her to submit a representation to the relevant authority for service benefits and ordered a decision on the matter within 30 days. This decision is in line with previous rulings, such as Jacob Puliyel vs. Union of India & Ors, where the Supreme Court established that individuals have the right to refuse medical treatment in regard to their own health.
Additionally, in a separate order passed by a coordinate bench in the case of Narendar Kumar vs. the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, the city government confirmed that no company was making vaccinations mandatory, and all employees were allowed to return to work without being vaccinated.
Consequently, the court relied on the above-mentioned orders and said: "In view of the above-mentioned orders relating to similar fact situations, the present petition, along with all pending applications, is disposed of with the direction that Covid-19 vaccination cannot be insisted upon by the employer, in terms of the various orders passed above."
The teacher's legal representative stated that the representation for service benefits was submitted on June 14, 2022. In response, the court ordered that a copy of the representation be sent to the authorities with a new cover letter within one week.
The teacher, who teaches history at the Government Girls Senior Secondary School in New Usmanpur, Gautam Puri, under the Delhi Government's Directorate of Education, filed the case in 2021 and has since been vaccinated, according to a report by IANS.