Delhi High Court on Wednesday, March 10, told the centre to "earn goodwill in the country first and then earn it outside" after observing that the government is supplying COVID-19 vaccine to even those countries which are on 'not-so-friendly' terms with India.
The observation was made by the court during the hearing of a suo motu petition regarding the demand by lawyers for vaccination of all members of the judiciary, including judges, court staff, and advocates on priority, reported The Indian Express.
Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor general of India put an argument before the court in which he said that the prioritization for vaccination drive is decided by the government on the basis of age, vulnerability and co-morbidity.
On this argument of Tushar Mehta, the court observed, "Mr. Mehta, in today's newspaper it is shown that you are exporting vaccine to not-so-friendly countries also that will deprive the Indian population. First earn the goodwill within the country then earn it outside."
The Delhi high court also said, "Judiciary is an important wing of the state and due to pandemic the progression of cases have taken a huge hit."
"People from the legislature and executive are not entitled to get vaccinated if they are not above 60 years of age or in the age gap of between 45 to 60 years with comorbidities. People who are below 45, their turn will come eventually," said Solicitor General of India.
The court, however, declined to pass any order against the export of vaccine made in India to other countries.
Earlier, on March 4, Union government was asked by Delhi High Court to give an explanation on the logic behind limiting limiting the current category of people eligible for receiving COVID-19 vaccination to those over the age 60 and to those above 45 with comorbidities.
Same bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, at that time made an observation, "We are not utilising it fully. At the same time, we are donating, or selling it to foreign countries. There has to be a sense of urgency."