Bombay HC to BMC: Expedite process of vaccinating victims

Last month, the Mumbai Police had informed the HC that there were 2,053 victims of such illegal vaccination camps.

The BMC on Friday told the Bombay High Court that so far, 2,773 people have been given fake vaccines filled with saline water at unauthorised camps held in Mumbai. After the BMC said that it will conduct a separate drive to vaccinate the victims of fake camps, the HC asked it to expedite the process as soon as the concerned persons are de-registered on the CoWin portal by the Union government.

Last month, the Mumbai Police had informed the HC that there were 2,053 victims of such illegal vaccination camps. On Friday, the Mumbai Police informed the HC that a probe in the first fake vaccination camp complaint, registered in Kandivali, has reached the final stage and a chargesheet will be filed within a fortnight. The court asked the police to try to expedite probes on other similar FIRs filed in the city.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Siddharth Chandrashekhar – represented by advocate Anita Shekhar-Castellino – seeking priority vaccination for the elderly and the court’s intervention on issues that people face while booking slots on CoWin.

On Friday, senior counsel Anil Sakhare, appearing for BMC, said it had conducted check-ups of 1,636 victims, who approached it and there were no health complaints. He added that BMC has issued fresh guidelines, as per which housing societies, educational institutions or other commercial entities can approach it to confirm authenticity of vaccine providers before initiating a camp in their premises.

Sakhare further said that it has written to the Centre to de-register the victims on CoWin and again register them. He added that BMC will immediately vaccinate the victims after they are deregistered on CoWin.

To this, the HC said: “BMC has to keep a vigil on all these issues… Also, you need to ensure that the victims of these incidents are vaccinated and there is no delay.”

The bench told Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the Union health ministry: “We expect early action on deregistration by Centre so that vaccination is not delayed.”

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