Have you vaccinated the homeless, mentally ill, asks Bombay HC

By Special Correspondent

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit on COVID-19 immunisation for mentally ill, homeless people.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni asked the State about how many mentally ill have been identified and registered. The court directed the State and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to file an affidavit on this in three weeks.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the court that the Centre has issued standard operating procedure for vaccinating the homeless and mentally ill. He said around 21,000 urban homeless people have been registered across the country and around 8,000 have been vaccinated.

Additional government pleader Gita Shastri said in Maharashtra 1,761 mentally ill have been vaccinated.

Referring to the affidavit filed by the State, the court said, “The affidavit is silent on the number of mentally ill people who were homeless, without legal guardians and not in a position to give their consent for vaccination. Such people posed a greater risk of spreading the virus.”

The bench added, “Every citizen, no matter in which condition, needs to be taken care of by the State.”

The court was hearing a public interest litigation concerning the vaccination for homeless mentally ill people.


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