The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday questioned the state government for singling out Pakistani Hindu migrants for the Covid-19 vaccination despite the Centre’s vaccination norms making them eligible for it. The court, too, has given an order on May 28 in which it had directed state government to specify steps for vaccination of those Pakistani minority migrants who do not have prescribed identity cards yet.
A Jodhpur bench of the high court sought clarification and took strong objection to the state government’s failure to apprise it of their efforts for vaccinating people not having the prescribed identity cards, which includes the Hindu migrants from Pakistan.
Centre’s vaccination SOP from May 06 made provisions for Pakistani minority migrants
A bench of justices Vijay Bishnoi and Rameshwar Vyas expressed displeasure and ordered the chief secretary to file an affidavit to the court, detailing the steps taken by the state for inoculating people without valid identification documents in line with the Centre’s guidelines.
The bench had made the Centre’s SOP for identifying people for vaccination in absence of any valid identification documents clear to the state government on May 28 itself.
“It is noticed that once this Court in its order dated 28.05.2021 has already opined that SOP dated 06.05.2021 is not excluding the Pakistani Minority Migrants, who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination,” the bench said in the order.
However, the state government sought further clarification from the Centre. Irked by the delay, the bench remarked, “It is difficult to understand why the state government is seeking further clarification from the central government and requesting it to include the Pakistani Minority Migrants in the SOP.”
The strong remarks were made after the National Health Mission under the Medical, Health and Family Welfare Department of Rajasthan had written a letter to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry urging the Centre to include minority migrants too in their SOP.
Sajjan Singh, the amicus curiae appointed on behalf of the Pakistani minority migrants, reported that even the Pakistani minority migrants who have already been declared as citizens of this country but do not possess an Aadhaar card have been kept out of the vaccination drive.
No ration kits for the migrants
After it was brought to light that except Jodhpur, migrants in Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Barmer have not been provided with food packets and ration supplies, the court has ordered the state’s law officer to submit a status report on the availability of food to these migrants in Rajasthan on next hearing scheduled for June 10.