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That irritating message on vaccination when you have none: Delhi HC tells Centre

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New Delhi, May 13: While coming down heavily on the Centre over vaccination shortage, the Delhi High Court said, " you have been playing that irritating message on phone whenever one makes a call regarding vaccination when you do not have have vaccines.

The court told the Centre, " you are not vaccinating people, but you still say vaccine lagwaye. Kon lagwayga vaccination when there's no vaccine."

That irritating message on vaccination when you have none: Delhi HC tells Centre

On Thursday, the court asked the Centre and Delhi government whether legal aid lawyers and judicial officers in the 18-44 age bracket, working to implement Supreme Court orders to decongest prisons, can walk-in for vaccination shots at the centres set up in district courts, saying "you cannot send someone to war without a gun".

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Justice Navin Chawla said legal aid lawyers and judicial officers were working to ensure that the apex court''s directions are implemented and need to be protected against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court was hearing a plea by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), represented by advocate Ajay Verma, seeking directions to the Centre and Delhi government to urgently vaccinate judicial officers and legal aid lawyers at the vaccination centres set up in district courts.

The central government told the court that at present there is no separate classification of lawyers as frontline workers for priority in vaccination and said that the issue of vaccinating the legal aid lawyers was a pan-India concern.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma also told the court that there was a gestation period of more than a month between the first and second shot of vaccination and during this period the legal aid lawyers would be exposed to the risk of COVID-19 infection.

To this, the court said that while what the ASG said was true, however, it would provide some "solace" to these lawyers if they get the first shot on priority basis.

"We should at least give them what we can," the court said.

Delhi government standing counsel Santosh K Tripathi told the court that lawyers and judicial officers of 45 years or above can walk-in for vaccination at the centres in the district courts, but that was not the case with regard to the 18-44 age group.

He said that the Delhi government does not have the discretion to allow walk-in of the 18-44 age group and a decision regarding that has to be taken by the Centre.

During the hearing, the court was told that a well known law firm was carrying out a drive to vaccinate its lawyers.

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