The Bar Association of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCBA) on Monday called on Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to extend the COVID-19 vaccination program to judges, lawyers and judicial staff so that the courts can function normally again at the earliest.
The SCBA also called on Prasad to include judges, lawyers, judicial officers and members of the legal fraternity in the “front line workers” category so that they can be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Supreme Court Bar Association is writing to Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asking for instructions to extend the COVID-19 vaccination program to judges, judicial officers and legal fraternity.
– ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2021
The legal profession said it has been over a year since the judiciary began to virtually listen to cases where only urgent matters were raised. It was also pointed out that the judiciary is faced with internet connectivity problems that are causing delays and difficulties for litigants’ lawyers and anyone else who may benefit.
Currently, the coronavirus vaccination program is limited to select beneficiaries, including medical professionals, plumbing workers, police officers and security officers, and is being gradually expanded to include others. In its letter to the Minister of Justice, the SCBA said that the judicial system is a sacrosanct part of the constitutional scheme and is unmatched in serving the people.
READ | The Ministry of Health reports two deaths from heart failure after vaccination on Jan. 16
Call for media, MLAs and MPs to be involved in the vaccination program
The previous Sunday, BJP MP Shankar Lalwani had written a letter to the Union’s Minister of Health, Harsh Vardhan, calling for media people to be included in the priority category and saying they had worked hard even during the pandemic. “Media representatives are also working hard in this difficult time of COVID-19. I ask that you give them vaccines as a priority so that they can continue their work without worry,” Lalwani, MP from Indore, said in his letter.
READ | 3.81,305 beneficiaries received COVID vaccine, 580 reported adverse events: Department of Health
On Saturday, JD (U) spokesman Ajay Alok also called for staff and elected members of state legislature and parliament to be self-vaccinated in the first phase. According to him, this would allow the budget meeting to function properly. The center had previously rejected a proposal by Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy, which also sought the priority vaccination of all MLAs and MPs.
During his meeting with prime ministers of all states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that public officials do not fall into the category of frontline workers and advised them not to take the vaccine until their turn.
According to the Union’s Ministry of Health, a total of 3.81,305 beneficiaries have been vaccinated in 7,704 sessions over the past three days.
READ | India has the highest number of COVID vaccinations in a day, more than US, UK: Center
READ | BJP MP urges health ministers to include media people in the priority list for Covid vaccines
(With input from the agency)