The centre government has clarified before the Supreme Court that it has not made it mandatory to get Covid-19 Vaccination.
This comes after the Additional Advocate General for Tamil Nadu Amit Anand Tiwari informed the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai that the Union Government has asked the state to make the vaccination mandatory.
Responding to this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court,” The Centre has not issued any mandate, the stand of centre is that it should be 100 per cent but it is not a mandate.”
The court is hearing the plea related to seeking of data on clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines and cases and side effects after the vaccination. It also challenges the vaccine Mandates imposed by some states.
Amit Anand Tiwari also informed the court that the state of Tamil Nadu has issued a vaccine mandate as it is in the larger interest of the people. he stated that people who are not vaccinated can become a threat to others and aid in spread of disease. He said that to ensure the safety of health of the larger population it is crucial that there be a vaccine mandate.
Additional Advocate General for Tamil Nadu Amit Anand Tiwari said, “I have submitted expert reports. Unvaccinated people are the cause of mutation of viruses … Where there is a likelihood that it would infect others or if there is a likelihood of spread, we have the power to issue such mandates… There is enough evidence to show that vaccines are preventing serious disease.”
The case is about the legality of making vaccines compulsory for people to access public spaces as has been done by states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh.
The petitioner is Dr Jacob Puliyel, a former member of the National Technical Advisory Group of Immunization. He has appealed to the court to remove the mandate of making vaccination compulsory for accessing public places and stated that it is unconstitutional.
Responding to the plea on behalf of Maharashtra, Advocate Rahul Chitnis said that vaccination mandate has been put in place for people to access shops, shopping malls, public transportation services, etc.
Similar arguments and statistics were presented before the court by the counsel for the State of Madhya Pradesh in support of the vaccine mandate. More updates on the case are awaited.