Manipur HC bars state govt from denying food grains to non-vaccinated beneficiaries under PMGKAY

THE Manipur High Court, in an interim order, directed the state government not to deny the supply of food grains to beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana(PMGKAY) to those who are yet to be vaccinated.

A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Lanusungkum Jamir said intimidatory measures could not be adopted for the purpose of vaccination and more so when the same involved supply of food grains.

The bench added that it was for the State government to suitably educate and inform people so that they voluntarily come forward to take the vaccination.

The bench passed the order on a petition filed by one Thangjam Santa Singh through advocate Akham Romilla. Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Jayna Kothari submitted in the high court that as per the public declaration made by the people’s representative from Khurai Assembly Constituency, PMGKAY food-grains would not be supplied to those who have not been vaccinated. She contended this denial of essential food grains on this basis would be violative of the fundamental rights of those who are yet to get vaccinated, be it for whatever reason.

Finding merit in the argument, the high court restrained the state government from denying food grains to those who are not vaccinated.

Last month also, the Manipur High Court said the state government could not impose conditions on citizens to compel them to get vaccinated, be it by holding out a threat or by putting them at a disadvantage for failing to get vaccinated.

“Restraining people who are yet to get vaccinated from opening institutions, organizations, factories, shops, etc., or denying them their livelihood by linking their employment, be it NREGA job cardholders or workers in government or private projects, to their getting vaccinated would be illegal on the part of the State, if not unconstitutional,” a division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Kh Nobin Singh had said.

Click here to read the order