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While defending vaccination policy, Centre tells SC not to interfere

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New Delhi, May 10: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that its vaccination policy had been framed to ensure proper distribution with the limited availability of vaccines, vulnerability and also the fact that vaccinating the entire country was not possible in one go.

While defending vaccination policy, Centre tells SC not need to interfere

The policy thus, conforms to mandate of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India and is made after several rounds of consultation and discussion with experts, State Government and vaccine manufacturers, the Centre said in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court.

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The policy requires no interference by the Honble Court as while dealing with a pandemic of this magnitude, the Executive does have a room for free play in the joints, in larger public interest the Centre also said.

The court on April 30, while hearing a sub motu matter had called for revisiting the Centre's revised vaccine procurement policy and said that the manner in which the current policy has been framed it would prima facie result in a detriment right to public health, which is an integral element of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

On the pricing, the Centre said that although the states procure the vaccines, the Centre has by conducting informal consultations with the vaccine manufacturers ensured that the price is uniform for all states.

"The Central Government by nature of its large vaccination programme, places large purchase orders for vaccines as opposed to the State Governments and/or Private Hospitals and therefore, this reality has some reflection in the prices negotiated", the Centre also said.

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"This price factor will not have any impact on the ultimate beneficiary since all state governments have already declared their policy decision of administering the vaccine to its residents, free of cost," the Centre also said in the affidavit.

"Sometimes, steps that are taken for immediate needs, to tide over an imminent crisis, may turn out to be imprudent in a long run," it also said.

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