A 12-year-old has filed a plea in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to immediately vaccinate children between the ages of 12 to 17 years in Delhi and to prioritize vaccination amongst parents having children up to 17 years of age.
The plea has been filed by Tia Gupta (12 years old) and her mother through advocate Bihu Sharma and Abhinav Mukharji. The plea also says that there should be a formulation of a comprehensive national plan with respect to children covering all aspects of their protection from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The matter is scheduled for May 28th 2021, Friday, before the division bench chaired by Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.
The plea vocalizes that the waxing policy of the country against coronavirus has failed to consider children or parents of children, who are also a vulnerable section of the society.
The plea thus claims that:
“Respondents have failed to prepare a National Plan for children in adherence to the guidelines as given under the National Disaster Management Plan 2019, formulated under the Disaster Management Act 2005, which clearly recognizes children and their vulnerability during a ‘biological disaster’ such as the present covered pandemic.”
The plea refers to the 12-year-old child as a tech savvy and aware individual like all her other peers, and presents the petitioner's anxiousness “as to why the respondents are not attempting to protect their fundamental right of life, by ensuring mitigation measures such as access to vaccination for children in India.”
In view of this, the plea states:
“The Petitioners and other similarly placed persons seek for justice which is being denied to them. Furthermore, the present writ is in accordance with Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which establishes the right of every child to give their opinions freely on matters concerning them and obliges government to ensure that children’s voices are heard and taken seriously. The said requirements are incorporated in the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act 2015 and also in National Policy for Children 2013. Hence, the Respondents have an obligation to take adequate measures to protect children from the present pandemic.”
The plea continues that the respondent must put in place measures to ensure that children are not left orphaned and at the danger of trafficking as their parents were not given priority for being immunized against Coronavirus.
The plea further prays that:
- Issue a writ order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to put in place appropriate vaccine protocol for children residing in Delhi and to make the same available expeditiously.
- Issue a writ order or direction in the nature of mandamus to the respondents to give priority in vaccination to parents of children who are residing in Delhi.
- Issue a writ order or direction in the nature of mandamus to the respondents to formulate a comprehensive National Plan with respect to children covering all aspects of their protection from the consequences of the pandemic.