The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to reply to a petition of a city-based couple, seeking the court's help in sending their minor daughter to the US for vaccination against COVID-19.
A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Abhay Ahuja directed the state to file the reply within a week.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by south Mumbai residents Viral and Bijal Thakker.
As per the plea filed through senior counsel Milind Sathe, the couple's daughter holds an Overseas Citizen of India card and is entitled to receive the vaccine in the US.
The couple urged the High Court to appoint the girl's maternal aunt, Purvee Parekh, who is also a co-petitioner in the case, as her legal guardian so that she can travel with her niece.
The plea said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US had restricted travel of Indians, with the exception of American citizens, and a minor US citizen can be accompanied by a non-citizen parent or legal guardian.
It said while the Indian government has currently approved vaccination of people aged 18 and above, the US administration allows inoculation of all those aged 12 and above.
On Tuesday, the state's counsel, Poornima Kantharia, said Mr Sathe must make the Union government and the US embassy parties to the case. She said the state was not the authority in the present case to take any decision.
Advocate Sathe said he will make the Union government a party, but as per the existing rules, the embassy could not be made a party in the present plea.
The court will continue hearing the plea next week.
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