The Kerala High Court on Monday refused to stay an order passed by its single-judge bench directing the Centre to allow the second dose of the Covishield vaccine to be administered before the completion of the government-prescribed 84-day period between the two shots, reported Live Law.
The Centre had filed the plea last week against the order of High Court Judge PB Suresh Kumar and contended that the directive amounts to the court interfering with policy decisions taken by the Union government.
On September 6, Kumar had also directed the Centre to make changes in the CoWIN portal to allow scheduling of the second dose of the Covishield vaccines after four weeks. The judge said that the fact that vaccination is voluntary indicated that the time gap mentioned by the government could only be considered as advisory in nature.
On Monday, the government argued that that the employees of the two companies who had filed the petition seeking early administration of the vaccine dose were likely to have completed the mandatory 84-day period by now.
Relying on this, Additional Solicitor General P Vijayakumar told the High Court that there was no need to maintain the single-bench judge’s order and sought an interim stay on it.
Advocate Blaze K Jose, who was appearing for the companies, denied the Centre’s claim that the employees have been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.
Jose also argued that the Centre has not complied with Kumar’s directions and cannot take benefit of the expiry of the 84-day period, especially when they are at fault.
A division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly then directed the companies to furnish details about the vaccination status of their employees. The High Court will take up the matter on Thursday, reported The Hindu.