The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition questioning the government's decision to make the COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for employees of industries and commercial establishments. It also warned the petitioner not to misguide the public. Petitioner, advocate Syed Shujath Mehdi, had filed the plea questioning the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) circular that made the COVID-19 vaccine compulsory for employees of industries and commercial establishments.
The petition was taken up by the division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, who, after verifying the contents of the petition, opined that the petitioner is misleading the public by filing a petition in this regard.
"You have taken vaccination and being an advocate, you can't do this. You have to take back the petition otherwise we will be forced to impose heavy penalties and quash the petition," the bench said.
Mehdi submitted that he has been vaccinated himself and he did not question the efficacy of it, but was only contending that the order making vaccination compulsory for industries and hotel staff is incorrect. The bench, however, said that the COVID-19 vaccination campaign is being taken up with an objective of public health.
"If at all public is facing difficulty they will raise their voice. There is no public interest in your petition and it seems it is being submitted to gain publicity. If at all you want to withdraw the petition, the court will accept it. Otherwise, the court will have to impose heavy penalties and quash the petition," the bench warned.
At this, Mehdi agreed to withdraw the petition and the court allowed him to do so.
Earlier, the Supreme Court too had refused to grant an interim stay on the large-scale vaccination drive in the country based on a petition questioning the vaccine’s efficacy.