The Kerala High Court on Monday sought the state government’s stand on a man’s plea challenging the latest COVID-19 guidelines which stipulate that anyone venturing out for shopping, even for essentials, should have received at least one dose of vaccine after he said the new norms are akin to putting him in “house arrest” for not being vaccinated due to drug allergies.
Justice P B Suresh Kumar asked the lawyer appearing for the state government to take instructions on what can be done for the petitioner as he claims to be living alone with no one to help him buy essentials, including groceries.
With the direction, the court listed the matter for hearing on Tuesday.
The court was initially going to take up the matter with other petitions which are expected to come up later in the week against the August 4 government order putting in place the new guidelines, but after the petitioner’s counsel said that he lives alone with no one to help him the court decided to hear the matter on Tuesday.
The petitioner has claimed that he suffers from drug allergies and therefore, till now has not taken even one dose of the two vaccine varieties available in the country.
He has urged the court to direct the state to administer a test dose of either vaccine to him in order to ascertain whether he was allergic to the same.
He has also sought quashing of the clause in the new guidelines which stipulates that only a person who has taken at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, before two weeks, or who has an RT-PCR negative certificate not older than 72 hours or has a COVID-19 positive result more than a month old, would be allowed in shops, markets, banks, public and private offices, etc.
The petitioner has contended that the clause was “arbitrary” and violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14,19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
He has also claimed, in his plea, that he had requested health authorities here to give him a test dose of the vaccine to check for any allergic reactions. But they declined to do so stating they did not have any instructions to deal with the particular situation which he was facing and as a result, he is still unvaccinated.
He has contended that the delay in administering him a test dose of the vaccine was illegal and unjustified and violated his right to health which is part of the right to life guaranteed under the Constitution.