HC poser to govt. on RT-PCR test

‘No scientific or empirical data that the unvaccinated are likely to transmit the infection’

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the State government why should there be an insistence on taking RT-PCR test every 72 hours or getting vaccinated with at least one dose before one goes out to work or other activities when there is no scientific or empirical data indicating that the unvaccinated are likely to transmit the infection.

Justice P.B.Suresh Kumar put the question before the government pleader during a hearing on a writ petition filed by Lalu V., an employee of the Kerala State Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), challenging the State government order requiring persons who want to go out for working or shopping to get oneself vaccinated at least with one jab or to possess a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours.

The court raised its doubt whether an unvaccinated person could be forced to undergo an RT-PCR test every 72 hours before going out to work or any other activity, especially when he/she did not pose a threat of infecting others.

The court orally observed the issue raised by the petitioner was a ‘delicate’ one that had pan-India implications and the issue could be decided only after getting the views of the Union government.

The petitioner contended that he had chosen not to get himself vaccinated. When he did not pose a threat to others and vaccination was optional, he could not be forced to undergo an RT-PCR test every 72 hours. He said that it was very difficult to take the test every 72 hours as it costs him dearly.

In fact, taking a COVID-19 vaccination was purely voluntary. The petitioner also said that the efficacy of the vaccine was doubtful as even the vaccinated were getting infected and dying. Therefore, the government order restricting the movement of unvaccinated persons was violative of Article 21 of the Constitution.

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