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Our shoulders broad to take criticism, SC says as it pulls up a vaccine doubter
New Delhi, Jan 25 - The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up a counsel, who claimed that the top court is only hearing those who are pro-vaccine, and not those who expose the "vaccine syndicate".
As a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a plea by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights in connection with research, awareness, and priority for vaccination of pregnant women and lactating mothers, advocate Nilesh Ojha, who was an intervenor in the matter, objected that his suggestions have not been included in the order.
While the bench was pronouncing the order, Ojha said: "Why are my suggestions not part of the order?"
He added that he knows a doctor, who died after taking Covishield and insisted on informed consent.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, opposing these submissions, said: "What is he saying? What is the fact for the basis of such a statement?"
Justice Chandrachud told Ojha: "You are an intervenor, you have to assist the court." However, Ojha repeated that none of his suggestions have been recorded by the court. He said: "I am also a citizen of India."
Justice Chandrachud shot back: "You have a right as a citizen but as an intervenor, your right is very limited.. as an intervenor, you can only throw light on the petition, but cannot claim independent relief."
At this juncture, Ojha said in a scenario where parties are misleading the court, he is providing a suggestion. "But why is this court not considering my suggestion," he said.
The bench said: "We don't want a certificate from you..."
As Justice Khanna told Ojha that the court will examine his suggestion in the other matter, Ojha asked why the top court never hears those who expose the "vaccine syndicate" and cited the impression, which it is creating on the common man.
Justice Chandrachud told Ojha that the court's shoulders are very broad to take the criticism, which includes his criticism. "We are doing our duty to the best of our ability. We are here to abide by our oath under the Constitution," said the bench.
Concluding the hearing in the matter, the top court left it open for the Central government to consider suggestions for making software adjustment to the CoWIN portal allowing identification of pregnant women and lactating mothers.
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