‘Arbitrary and Irrational’: SC Pulls Up Centre on Vaccine Policy
The Big StoryJune 03, 2021
00:11:2710.53 MB

‘Arbitrary and Irrational’: SC Pulls Up Centre on Vaccine Policy

The Centre's policy on different vaccine prices for different phases, and different age categories is “prima facie detrimental to the right to health of the country.” That's what the Supreme Court said about the current COVID vaccine policy in India.

The court also observed that while the Centre is arranging free vaccines for COVID warriors and the 45+ age group, asking the 18-44 age group to pay for it was “prima facie arbitrary and irrational.”

In a series of hard hitting questions on vaccine dual pricing, registration and distribution, the apex court took Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to task, whose responses of “addressing it in the next affidavit” did not convince the court.

Just a month earlier, on 3 May, SC had asked the same questions and also called out the discriminatory nature of the vaccine policy on three fronts – differential vaccine pricing, vaccine procurement of different age groups and the digital divide caused due to vaccine registration process via the CoWIN app.

But despite the harsh commentary from the apex bench, no serious action has been taken against the central government and the court has, instead, given Centre a couple of more weeks to file yet another affidavit.

In the episode, we will go through the observations made by the Supreme Court COVID-19 Bench on Centre’s vaccine policy, the Centre’s responses to the same and how the vaccine policy is prima facie unconstitutional, according to the apex court.

Host and Producer: Himmat Shaligram
Guest: Karan Tripathi, Legal Consultant, The Quint.
Editor: Shelly Walia

Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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