The Supreme Court made a preliminary observation last week and held that the central vaccine policy that does not provide free vaccination for the 18-44 age group is arbitrary and unreasonable.

On Monday, June 7, 2021, Prime Minister Modi announced that free jabs will be provided to everyone above 18 years of age. This is a great example of the power of judicial review.

The Supreme Court raised questions regarding vaccine policy with the center last week. He asked the center to review its vaccination policy. Noting that the center promoted and financed the production of vaccines through concessions, the Supreme Court requested clarification as to whether it stated precisely that private entities are the only ones who bear the risks and manufacturing costs. The financial budget for 2021-22 has been designated Rs 35 billion for the procurement of vaccines, and the Supreme Court had instructed the center to provide data and documents to clarify the use of these funds so far and why they cannot be used to vaccinate people aged 18 to 44 years.

Monday, in his address to the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the central government will provide free vaccines to people aged 18 to 44 and has decided to buy 75% of vaccines from vaccine manufacturers, including 25% of the quota. national, and provide free vaccines to countries. Considering that when the constitutional rights of citizens are violated by central policies, the courts cannot be “silent bystanders.” The judge criticized the vaccination policy in an order published on June 2, calling it “ostensibly arbitrary and unreasonable” “and ordered that it should be reviewed.

-Report by Muskan Chanda

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