NEW DELHI: Supporting mandatory Covid vaccination to deal with the pandemic, the Centre approved the decision taken by various state governments, which made jabs essential for attending offices and for availing of services like public transports and visiting malls and told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that if the situation worsens in future, it would take the same call to make it mandatory.
Opposing a PIL filed by former member of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation Jacob Puliyel against vaccine mandates, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati contended before a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai decisions were being taken to protect the life of crores of citizens. Mehta said one person cannot claim that getting vaccinated is a matter of his fundamental right as it would put the lives of many people in danger.
He said one’s right of not getting vaccinated cannot triumph over citizens’ fundamental right to health and their right to not get infected by the deadly virus. Though the SG said the Centre has not made vaccination mandatory and it continues to be voluntary, but it is always open for it to make it mandatory.
“We may be required to make it mandatory in future if a situation arises. I am supporting the decisions taken by the states. Right to die is a fundamental right but it is not a fundamental right to infect others. It is an offence,” Mehta submitted.