The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Central government on a plea seeking door-to-door, priority vaccination against COVID-19 for persons with disabilities.
A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud also sought the assistance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the matter.
"Since the plea raises substantial questions dealing with rights of the disabled. We issue notice to the Union of India. We would request learned SG Tushar Mehta to assist us with regarding steps taken and steps which will be taken to assuage concerns of petitioners. List this after 2 weeks," the Court ordered.
The petitioner requested the Court to issue notice to all States as well but the Court turned down the request for the time being.
"If we issue notice to States, it will take 2 months. Let us first see what centre does," the Bench remarked.
The plea by NGO Evara Foundation said that persons with disability are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to difficulties faced by then in adhering to hygiene measures, enacting social distancing norms, underlying health conditions etc.
The plea filed through advocate Shashank Singh also said that scheduling an appointment as a particular vaccination centre is a highly technical process and persons with disabilities are facing difficulties in getting vaccinated.
Moreover, visiting vaccination centres amid lockdowns in various States is also a challenging task for such persons, the plea said.
"Section 3 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 mandates that appropriate government shall take necessary steps to ensure reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities," the petition stated.
The plea therefore sought arrangements for persons with disabilities and their caregivers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at their residence.
The plea also sought preference to such persons in scheduling vaccination slots.