Covid-19 vaccine can’t be insisted upon by employer: Delhi HC 

Covid-19 vaccine can’t be insisted upon by employer: Delhi HC 

The petitioner was working as a lecturer of History, teaching class XI and XII in the Government Girls Senior Secondary School in Delhi under the Director, Directorate of Education, GNCTD.  

NEW DELHI:  Hearing the plea of a government school lecturer for allowing her to teach without being forced to get vaccinated against Covid-19, the Delhi High Court has said the vaccination cannot be insisted upon by the employer.

“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” read a recent order by single judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh.

The petitioner was working as a lecturer of History, teaching class XI and XII in the Government Girls Senior Secondary School in Delhi under the Director, Directorate of Education, GNCTD.  She moved the petition in 2021 seeking a declaration that she should be allowed to attend the school, conduct teaching, and undertake other responsibilities without being forced to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The court also noted that the lecturer has now been vaccinated while allowing her to make a representation to the concerned authority on the question of service benefits. The court said the “decision on the same shall be taken within 30 days”.

The court also referred to a Supreme Court verdict that says, “With respect to the infringement of bodily 
integrity and personal autonomy of an individual considered in the light of vaccines and other public health measures introduced to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are of the opinion that bodily integrity is protected Under Article 21 of the Constitution and no individual can be forced to be vaccinated.”

The apex court had relied on the order of Jacob Puliyel vs Union of India & Ors, (2022), saying the personal autonomy of an individual, which is recognised protection guaranteed under Article 21, “encompasses the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment in the sphere of individual health”.

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