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COVID-19: Bombay HC Directs Centre To Permit CoWin Re-Registration of Fake Vaccination Scam Victims


COVID-19: Bombay HC Directs Centre To Permit CoWin Re-Registration of Fake Vaccination Scam Victims
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The Union Government has received directives from the Bombay High Court on Friday to approve the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan to revaccinate individuals who had fallen prey to fake vaccination programs across Mumbai.

A Bombay HC bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni asked the Central Government to approve the BMC’s plan “'with or without modifications, within seven days”.

Also read BMC To Vaccinate 390 Citizens From Kandivali Who Were Administered Fake Vaccines

This comes as BMC’s senior counsel, Anil Sakhare submitted to the High Court that the civic body has revaccinated 161 of the 2,053 individuals that were affected by the fake vaccination scam. Sakhare said that the victims were administered saline water instead of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. 

“Of the 391 cases at Hiranandani in Kandivali, 363 people were traced and 161 of them were vaccinated. We are in the process of getting the remaining of the total 2,053 victims re-registered on the CoWin portal so that they can be re-vaccinated correctly,” Sakhare said. 

One of the plans recommended by the BMC is to de-register CoWin accounts of victims impacted by the scam and register them again on the portal so that the right vaccine can be administered. This is where the civic body hit a roadblock as re-registration on the CoWin platform requires approval from the Union Government. 

Representing the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh said that there was no function to de-register users at the moment, adding that the government will look into the matter. “For the time being, the victims can re-register on the portal for vaccination,” he said.

In response, the bench noted, “Consider BMC's proposed plan of action and do the needful. The victims can perhaps be granted fresh registration (on the CoWin portal) with some remarks identifying them for re-vaccination.”

Meanwhile, the Bombay HC granted 30 days to the Mumbai Police in order to conclude its investigation into an incident related to fake vaccinations at a housing society in Kandivali. “We grant the investigating officer 30 days as requested to complete the probe and place on record the probe report before this court,” the High Court said. 

Counsel for the State Government, Aruna Pai told the court on Friday that although the police had concluded investigations in the Kandivali case, a charge sheet is yet to be filed. Pai added that they are waiting for a “chemical analysis report” from the Haffkine Institute to proceed further. 

“No one involved in the scam should be let off. We direct the Haffkine Institute to provide the chemical analysis report to police as soon as possible,” the court observed. The Bombay High Court will hear the plea further on August 30.  

ReadFake Vaccination Scam In Mumbai: Main Accused Doctor Tests Positive For COVID-19

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