Employer cannot insist for COVID Vaccine: Delhi HC grants relief to school teacher
IANS 24 January 2023
The Delhi High Court disposed of all pending applications concerning employees being forced for Covid-19 vaccine, directing that it cannot be "insisted upon by the employer".
A single-judge bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh was dealing with a government school teacher's plea seeking permission to teach and undertake other responsibilities without being forced to take the vaccine.
The bench granted relief to the petitioner, permitting her to make a representation to the concerned authority for service benefits and directed that the decision on the same be taken within 30 days.
Earlier, in Jacob Puliyel vs. Union of India & Ors case, the Supreme Court had made a judgment that it is an individual's right to refuse to take any medical treatment as long as his own health is concerned.
In another order passed by a coordinate bench in Narendar Kumar vs. Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, the city government had also submitted as per the Supreme Court's ruling that no company was requiring vaccinations to be mandatory, and all employees had been allowed to return to their jobs without the requirement.
The court relied on the above-mentioned orders and said: "In view of the above-mentioned orders relating to similar fact situations, the present petition, along with all pending applications, is disposed of with the direction that Covid-19 vaccination cannot be insisted upon by the employer, in terms of the various orders passed above."
The teacher's counsel submitted that the representation regarding service benefits was made on June 14, 2022.
In response, the court directed that the copy of the same be forwarded with a fresh covering letter to the authorities within one week.
The teacher, who teaches history subject in the Government Girls Senior Secondary School, New Usmanpur, Gautam Puri, under Delhi Government's Directorate of Education, had moved court in 2021 and is vaccinated now.
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