Arunachal Pradesh: High Court Stays State Government Directive Allowing Only Covid Vaccinated To Obtain Work Permits

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Tanu Bulo, Arunachal Pradesh

Responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Madan Mili, Justice Nani Tagia of Itanagar permanent bench of  Guwahati HC has termed the State Government’s 30th June order as arbitrary and discriminatory thereby staying the implementation of the said order. The order issued by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary allows only individuals vaccinated against Covid-19 to obtain a temporary work permit to work inside the state’s territory. Clause 11 of the said order states – “Tourist ILPs shall remain suspended during the period of this order. However, for developmental works in both public and private sectors, temporary permits may be issued, provided such persons are vaccinated for Covid-19.”

The court observed the said order to be a gross violation of Article 14, 19 (1) (d) and 21 of the Constitution that deals with the right to equality before the law, freedom to move freely throughout India, and right to life and livelihood respectively.

“There is no evidence either on record or in the public domain that Covid-19 vaccinated persons cannot be infected with Covid-19 virus or he/she cannot be carriers of Covid-19 virus and consequently, a spreader of Covid-19 virus. Both vaccinated as well as non-vaccinated individuals can be a potential spreader of the virus .” the court order read.

“The restriction placed only upon the unvaccinated persons, debarring them from earning their livelihood or leaving their houses to obtain essential items, is unjustified, grossly unreasonable, and arbitrary. As such, the submission made by the learned additional advocate general that the restrictions made against unvaccinated person vis-à-vis vaccinated persons is reasonable does not hold any water.” the Court order further read.

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