The Allahabad High Court has asked the centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to come up with a plan in the next five days to vaccinate those in the 18-45 age group who cannot register themselves online for the shots.
The centre has disallowed walk-in Covid vaccinations for this age group. To get the shots, one has to secure an appointment through the CoWIN portal or the Aarogya Setu app. Technical glitches, along with a shortage of vaccines, have contributed to a slow pace of immunization in this age group.
Hearing a public interest litigation relating to the pandemic situation in Uttar Pradesh, a two-judge bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar said in their order on Tuesday, "We may further observe that a large number of our population still resides in villages and there are people who are only labours between the age group of 18 and 45 and cannot themselves register online for vaccination. The Central Government and State Government are directed to place before this Court the programme by which they would vaccinate those illiterate labours and other villagers between the age group of 18 and 45 years if they are not able to register online for vaccination."
The case will be heard again on Monday.
The court also asked the state government to consider paying a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the families of those who died of Covid after poll duty in the recent panchayat elections.
While teachers' unions say that over 700 teachers and support staff on poll duty died of Covid, the state government has told the court that 78 such deaths have been reported from about 30 districts so far and that it needs more time to collate information from all districts.
The state government has announced Rs 30 lakh as compensation for the families of each of the dead.
"It is not a case that somebody volunteered to render his/ her services during election, but it was all made obligatory to those assigned with election duty to perform their duties during election even while they showed their reluctance. The amount of the compensation, in our considered opinion, is very less," the court has observed.
"To compensate the loss of life of the bread earner of the family and that too because of the deliberate act on the part of the State and State Election Commission to force them to perform duties in the absence of RTPCR support, the compensation must be at least to the tune of Rs 1,00,00,000/-" the court has said.