A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday rejected the plea of a 32-year-old convict who alleged that he was forcibly vaccinated after he was sent to judicial custody.
The convict was recently convicted for raping a minor in 2015. The plea filed by Koli's lawyer had demanded an enquiry against police and jail officials for forcibly vaccinating him.
However, the court of judge Shanjashree Gharat noted that the convict had not met his lawyer and did not tell the police and doctors about not wanting to take the vaccine.
"The contention made in the application that accused was forcibly vaccinated is devoid of any merit. In fact, it appears that he is not aware about contents of present application," the court noted.
The court also noted that the lawyer, Nilesh Oza, was himself against vaccination and had even filed a writ petition against mandatory Covid-19 vaccination of people.
"It is to be noted that the advocate representing party has to plead the grievance of his party. Therefore, there should be grievance of party and not of advocate. Whenever there is right, there is remedy. The provisions are available for safeguarding the right of parties," the court said.
What did the plea say?
On August 18, the court had convicted Koli and sent him to custody on the same day. The plea alleged that the police team took him to a hospital before taking him to the jail.
The plea also alleged that despite his strong refusal, he was forcefully given the Covid-19 vaccine by the police officials and doctors.
In their submission, the police officials said that while the convict was taken to the Arthur Road Jail, the jail authorities directed that a RT-PCR test be done to find out if he was positive for Covid-19 or not.
They also told the police officials to make sure that the convict was vaccinated before admitting him to the hospital. It was only because of this that the convict was taken for vaccination, the police said, claiming that at that time he did not oppose the vaccination.
The jail authorities, too, submitted before the court that the Maharashtra government has issues orders for getting RT-PCR test and vaccination done for every accused. They also stated that vaccination is important considering the social health of the prisoners.
The jail authorities further said that when the convict was brought to the jail, the RT-PCR report was not available. So oral instruction was given to verify the vaccination status of the convict. However, nobody was vaccinated against their wish, stated the jail authorities.