HC asks Delhi govt to give details of Covid-19 vaccination drive on inmates in jail

The court observed that all those lodged in jail shall get the vaccines and those who are coming to prison from outside shall also be vaccinated

HC asks Delhi govt to give details of Covid-19 vaccination drive on inmates in jail

Photo for representation.

New Delhi, July 27

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Delhi government to inform about its Covid-19 vaccination drive which is going on in the jails here on the existing inmates and the new comers.

The high court asked the government to file an affidavit highlighting the authorities’ plan for administering second dose on the prisoners.

A Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh granted time to the Delhi government to file a fresh affidavit to highlight how vaccination programme is going on in the jail on those who are already lodged in prison, be it undertrials or convicts, and those who are new comers there.

It also asked the government to highlight how periodically health check-up is conducted on the inmates and listed the matter for further hearing on September 16.

The high court was hearing two pleas seeking vaccination of all the prisoners who were out on bail or parole before they surrender so as to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection inside prisons.

The court observed that all those lodged in jail shall get the vaccines and those who are coming to prison from outside shall also be vaccinated.

During the hearing, Delhi government standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi said he will file a fresh status report on the number of inmates already vaccinated in the jail.

The court had in February issued notice on the petitions and asked the Delhi government to take action on the issue “immediately”.

One of the two petitions has been moved by a 63-year-old woman convict serving life imprisonment in a murder case. She has sought that all prisoners, particularly those above 60 years who were out on bail, parole or furlough be vaccinated before their surrender.

In her plea, filed through advocate Amit Sahni, the woman has also sought vaccination of jail staff, security persons and all prisoners in the national capital.

A similar plea has also been moved by four lawyers—advocates Abhilasha Shrawat, Prabhash, Kartik Malhotra and Manav Narula—seeking directions to the Delhi government to “arrange and facilitate Covid-19 vaccination to all the prisoners who were out on bail”.

The two petitions have claimed that as on January 14, there were 16,396 inmates in the three prisons in Delhi which together have a capacity of 10,026 and therefore, there was not sufficient space for maintaining social distancing.

The petitioners have contended that with more prisoners scheduled to surrender in the coming days, there may not be sufficient space to keep them in quarantine for 14 days and therefore, it was necessary to vaccinate the prisoners who were out on bail, parole or furlough before lodging them back in the jail. PTI

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