Vaccination By Force Violates Fundamental Right, Rules High Court

A vaccine can’t be forced on anyone because that violates fundamental rights as mandated under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution, a high court ruled on Thursday.

According to a report in Bar and Bench, the Meghalaya High Court observed that forcing shopkeepers, taxi drivers etc. to get vaccinated as a condition for resuming their business or profession vitiates the very fundamental purpose of the welfare attached to it.

“However, vaccination by force or being made mandatory by adopting coercive methods, vitiates the very fundamental purpose of the welfare attached to it. It impinges on the fundamental right(s) as such, especially when it affects the right to means of livelihood which makes it possible for a person to live,” the HC judgment said, according to the report.

A two-judge bench did observe that vaccination was need of the hour and a necessary measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, but it also stressed the state government can’t take any action that would violate fundamental right to livelihood.

The court said it was the responsibility of the state government to sensitize citizens about the process of vaccination with its pros and cons, as well stop spread of misinformation regarding vaccination.

On Wednesday, the High Court asked shops, business houses and commercial vehicles in the state to put on display the vaccination status of their employees at a “conspicuous” place for people to make a conscious decision before using their services.

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