Differential Pricing Of COVID Vaccines: Rajasthan High Court Issues Notice To UOI & Rajasthan Government

first_imgNews UpdatesDifferential Pricing Of COVID Vaccines: Rajasthan High Court Issues Notice To UOI & Rajasthan Government Sparsh Upadhyay29 April 2021 10:17 PMShare This – xThe Rajasthan High Court on Thursday (April 29) issued notices to the Central Government, State Government on a plea challenging differential pricing of the vaccine for the Centre and the State. The petition, filed by Journalist Mukesh Sharma through Advocates Abhay Kumar Bhandari & Siddharth Bapna submits that Serum Institute of India & Bharat Biotech International Limited have adopted differential pricing for COVID vaccines for the Government of India, State Governments and the private entities in violation of Articles-14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.Advertisement It may be noted that yesterday, Bharat Biotech slashed the price of its vaccine ‘Covaxin’ to ₹400 per dose for the state government to procure it, earlier, this price was ₹600 for one dose. However, there is no change in the price of Covaxin for private markets and it remains at ₹1,200 per dose. Similarly, the price of the Covishield vaccine has also been reduced and now it would be available for the State Governments at the price of Rs 300 per dose.Advertisement In this backdrop, the plea submits that once Serum Institute of India & Bharat Biotech decide to make available the vaccine doses for Rs. 150/- per dose to the Government of India, there was no occasion or reason to be charging exorbitantly high prices of Rs. 400/- (now 300/-) and Rs. 600/- (now 400/-) from State Governments and Rs. 600/- and Rs. 1,200/- from the other organizations. The plea calls it ‘absurd’ and rather unjustified as to how could vaccine manufactured by the companies be sold at three different prices in the same country without any cogent rhyme or reason and that too with the approval of the Government of India against the interest of the public at large.Advertisement Advertisement Challenging the liberalized vaccination strategy (which is coming into effect on May 01st), the plea states, “Persons above 18 years of age have been made eligible for vaccination, but not under the Government of India vaccination program. Hence, if a person above the age of 18 years is to be vaccinated, he/she has to pay hefty amounts for vaccination or remain at the mercy of the State Government for providing free vaccination and in turn, the State Government has to pay exorbitantly higher rates for every dosage of vaccination.”Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Importantly, the plea submits that the Vaccination Strategy adopted by the Government of India was absolutely against the public interest and a major impediment in India’s fight against Coronavirus. It further argues that by charging a hefty amount for every dosage of vaccination, the Government of India was imposing premium for guarantying the right to life to the people of India and the people of the State of Rajasthan. “With the present liberalized vaccination strategy and pricing announced by Serum Institute of India & Bharat Biotech, the State of Rajasthan and its citizens have been left high & dry by the Government of India in conjunction with both the vaccine manufacturers,” the plea adds. Importantly, the plea argues that the Government of India had amassed and collected huge and enormous amounts of money through donations in the PM-Cares Fund and which should be utilized for providing free vaccination to the entire population seeking to be vaccinated via the Government Machinery. Lastly, the plea submits, “There is a sheer absence of any sort of intelligible differentia for having a reasonable classification under the auspices of Article-14 of the Constitution of India and as such, the differential pricing of vaccines by Serum Institute of India & Bharat Biotech is ultra vires the Constitutional provisions in as much as it seeks to arbitrarily discriminate between the citizens of India without any basis” Prayers of the plea The decision of Serum Institute of India to sell COVID-19 vaccine under the name of Covishield at Rs. 400/- (now 300/-) to the State Governments and Rs. 600/- to other organizations as per the Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy be quashed and set aside;The decision of Bharat Biotech to sell COVID-19 vaccine under the name of Covaxin at Rs. 600/- (now 400/-) to the State Governments and Rs. 1,200/- to other organizations as per the Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy be quashed and set aside;The Government of India be directed to fix the price of vaccines by the name of Covishield and Covaxin at a uniform rate of Rs. 150/- per dose The Government of India be directed to provide free vaccination to all persons within the entire State of Rajasthan who desire to be vaccinated through the Government operated vaccination centers;The Government of India be directed to disclose the entire mechanism of arriving at the pricing of one dosage of vaccination for Coronavirus.TagsDifferential Pricing Of COVID Vaccines Covaxin COVISHIELD COVID Vaccines Rajasthan High Court Rajasthan Government Differential Pricing Serum Institute of India Bharat Biotech International Limited Bharat Biotech Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *