Early this month, the Delhi disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had issued an order making it mandatory for employees in various departments, PSUs, local and educational bodies and autonomous bodies under Delhi government to get at least their first vaccine dose by October 15. About a week later, on October 16, a significant number of employees had been stopped from duty without at least the first jab. Now, many departments are making vaccination mandatory for employees to report to work. Failure to do so will result in them being considered on leave, and even facing penal action.
The departments of finance and labour as well as the directorate of training and technical education are amongst those that have made inoculation compulsory for their employees. They have already issued orders to the respective heads to ensure that the order is complied with and the vaccination certificates of employees are verified.
One department has even gone to the extent of stating that those who do not get inoculated without any valid reason may have to face penal action as per sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. That means, employees’ refusal to get vaccinated may lead to them being imprisoned for up to one year or paying a fine or both.
Two government doctors have submitted a plea to the Delhi High Court challenging the Delhi government’s order that stopped healthcare staff, teachers and frontline workers from reporting for duty without getting jabbed by October 15. The doctors felt this violated their fundamental right to earn a livelihood and attend office.