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HC asks Centre if bar bodies can contact firms directly for COVID-19 vaccine to aged lawyers

·2-min read

New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Friday asked the Centre whether bar associations can be allowed to directly get in touch with the manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccine to provide it to lawyers above 60 years as also to those above 45 and suffering from co-morbidities.

Justice Prathiba M Singh asked Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma and central government standing counsel Anil Soni to seek instructions on the query and inform the court by March 4, the next date of hearing. The query was posed after several senior lawyers told the court that the various bar associations in the national capital were willing to make arrangements directly with the vaccine manufacturers to provide the same to advocates who fall in the two categories.

The suggestion came after Soni told the court that from March 1 the government would be vaccinating people who are more than 60 years old and also those persons who are above 45 years and suffer from co-morbidities.

He said that he has no information on whether lawyers would be considered as a separate category for being vaccinated on priority basis.

The court was hearing a plea by a lawyer -- Manashwy Jha -- seeking that the decision to commence physical hearings by all judges from March 15 be deferred till the time all the advocates are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Justice Singh said she was not going into the issue of vaccinating all the lawyers as the same was being considered by the Supreme Court.

Jha, in his plea, has sought that either the lawyers and their staff be vaccinated by treating them at par with frontline health workers or in the alternative to defer the implementation of the February 20 office order till the time all the advocates and their staff are vaccinated.

He has claimed that the danger of COVID-19 was 'far from over' as cases in Delhi may have reduced considerably, but in the states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Kerala the pandemic numbers were still rising and there was every likelihood that the impact of the same might be felt in the national capital soon due to lack of restrictions in the movement of people. PTI HMP SA