Delhi high court refuses relief to teacher who refused to get vaccinated

The court issued notice and sought the city government’s response on the teacher’s challenge to the order of the directorate of education, restraining unvaccinated teachers from attending school from October 15
Pune, India - Oct. 26, 2021: A student of Mamasaheb Mohol College gets Covid-19 vaccination jab during a vaccination drive held at the college campus at Kothrud in Pune, India, on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) started with the college vaccination drive for the not vaccinated students and those vaccinated with a single jab against Covid-19 at various campuses. (Photo by Pratham Gokhale/Hindustan Times) (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Pune, India - Oct. 26, 2021: A student of Mamasaheb Mohol College gets Covid-19 vaccination jab during a vaccination drive held at the college campus at Kothrud in Pune, India, on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) started with the college vaccination drive for the not vaccinated students and those vaccinated with a single jab against Covid-19 at various campuses. (Photo by Pratham Gokhale/Hindustan Times) (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Published on Nov 18, 2021 12:36 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, New Delhi

The Delhi high court on Wednesday refused to grant interim relief to a Delhi government school teacher who is unvaccinated and had moved the court, challenging a circular that made vaccination mandatory for coming to school.

Justice Rekha Palli refused to allow the teacher to join duty — he has been marked “on leave” as he is unable to come to school without vaccination— saying she was not inclined to interfere unless there was a medical issue.

“I am not inclined. Why should she not get vaccinated? There is no case for interim relief,” the court said, adding that being unvaccinated “puts everyone at risk”.

The court issued notice and sought the city government’s response on the teacher’s challenge to the order of the directorate of education, restraining unvaccinated teachers from attending school from October 15.

Appearing for the Delhi government, counsel Siddharth Krishna opposed the petition and said that allowing the petitioner to come to school would put students at risk.

Senior lawyer Sanjoy Ghose, appearing for the teacher, stated his client “does not want to expose her body to external substances” and presently, she has strong immunity as her antibody count was 427. The senior counsel contended that vaccination was voluntary and being unvaccinated was not a crime. The counsel also emphasised that there was nothing to prove that mandatory vaccination prevented transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Urging the court to allow the petitioner to resume work, he stated that she was willing to undertake the Covid-19 test every month and practice Covid-appropriate behaviour.

To this, the court said, “Not at all. I will not touch that matter. I am not inclined at all unless there is a serious problem.”

Palli said it was because of vaccination that there were now milder cases of the virus. “Today the position that we are in, it is because of vaccination,” she said.

The petitioner agreed to get herself vaccinated without prejudice to her rights and contentions but urged the authorities to “take responsibility for any short-term or long-term consequences”.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021