The Indian Air Force has been served a show cause notice by the Gujarat High Court for forcing to dismiss an officer after he refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine stating that he was using ayurvedic medicines suggested by the AYUSH ministry to increase his immunity against COVID-19. The officer who challenged his termination in the Gujarat High Court has succeeded in getting a stay from the court.
The Gujarat High Court has issued a notice to the Indian Air Force on a petition filed by one of its personnel posted in Jamnagar, challenging the show cause notice issued to him for termination of service after he expressed his unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In an order passed on Tuesday, a division bench of Justices A J Desai and A P Thaker issued the notice to the IAF and central government and also directed the IAF not to take any coercive action against the petitioner till July 1.
Petitioner Yogender Kumar, an IAF corporal, had moved the HC seeking a direction to quash the show cause notice dated May 10, 2021, in which the IAF stated that his stand against vaccination “verges to gross indiscipline”, and his continuation in the service is likely to adversely impact the health of other “air warriors and AF civilians”.
“The IAF is of the opinion that your continuation in the disciplined force like Indian Air Force is undesirable and you need to be separated from the service,” the petitioner said quoting the notice issued to him.
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The plea said the decision of respondent no.1 (IAF) to dismiss the petitioner for refusing to take vaccine is not only contrary to the guidelines of the Union of India, but also violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
“The termination from job due to unwillingness to take COVID-19 vaccine is completely illegal, unconstitutional and arbitrary on part of respondent no.1,” Kumar said in his plea while seeking the court’s direction to quash the notice and direct the IAF not to force him to get vaccinated.
The petitioner on February 26, 2021 wrote to the Commanding Officer of their squadron, expressing his unwillingness to take vaccination against COVID-19.
While refusing to get vaccinated, the petitioner in his application had told the IAF that he was using ayurvedic medicines to increase his immunity against COVID-19.
He had also told that he uses allopathic medicines only in emergency, or when a solution is not possible in the Ayurveda.
“I have some hesitation and my inner consciousness does not allow me to get vaccinated,” he had stated in his application, as quoted in the plea moved before the HC.
Kumar had said that he may be excused from vaccination against COVID-19.
“The petitioner has the right to receive treatment of his choice and vaccination cannot be forced upon him. As per the central government, the vaccine is voluntary and not mandatory for individuals in the country,” he said in his plea.
Kumar also said he was unwilling to get vaccinated as it is not fully approved by the administration and has been given emergency use authorisation, hence it should not be considered the only option for prevention against COVID-19.
He also cited newspaper reports related to deaths and adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
The petitioner also cited a Supreme Court judgment of 2018 to buttress his claim and said “he has the right to receive treatment of his choice and vaccination cannot be forced upon him.”
Kumar in his plea said he is taking ayurvedic medicines and products suggested by the AYUSH ministry, and is also strictly following the guidelines of wearing mask, avoiding crowded places, using sanitiser and washing hands at regular intervals.
He does yoga and takes sufficient amount of vitamin C through fruits and vegetables, the petitioner said, adding that while these measures do not give 100 per cent protection from the infection, they have worked in his case so far.
As reported by GreatGameIndia earlier, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court of India against mandatory mass vaccination in India.
Is this how "voluntary vaccination" is carried out in India? pic.twitter.com/0JUA0B3Iut— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) June 23, 2021
The petitioner who is a former member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is also seeking public disclosure of the secret vaccine clinical trial data and post vaccination adverse events data, as is required by International medical norms.
In one instance, when the Health Department team arrived at the Sisoda village in Uttar Pradesh to vaccinate them, the villagers ran to the shore. When the team surrounded them at the shore almost 200 villagers jumped into the river Saryu to escape forceful COVID-19 vaccination.
Coercing citizens directly or indirectly to get vaccinated is unconstitutional and violates the Right to Life of citizens.
While the government has clearly stated in numerous RTIs that Covid vaccines are voluntary, there are many instances from across the country where now various authorities are mandating the vaccines.
In such circumstances, coercing people to take the vaccines on pain of losing their jobs or access to essential services, which has begun to happen in many parts of the country, is a violation of the fundamental rights of people, especially in a situation where emergency approvals have been given to vaccines without full and adequate testing and without any transparency of the trial data and post vaccination data.
To counter media reports on vaccine hesitancy in India, the government has engaged Ogilvy, a PR, advertisement firm, to plant stories on the ‘perfect implementation’ of Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Ogilvy was also hired by the current government for an image makeover to win 2014 election. Our long time readers would remember the origins of Ogilvy come from British Intelligence and specifically the psychological warfare techniques they employed during World War 2.