Jan 11, Colombo: The Supreme Court has set January 31 as the date for the hearing of a fundamental rights petition filed against the government’s decision to make vaccination compulsory for people under the age of 18 to prevent the spread of the Covid virus.
The petition was taken up before a panel of judges comprising justices Gamini Amarasekera, Kumuduni Wickramasinghe and Achala Vengappuli today.
Lawyers representing the petitioner appearing before the court said on December 15, the Director General of Health Services had given an affidavit to the Supreme Court stating that he was acting as the head of the Covid vaccination program and that he was the only competent authority to issue an official statement regarding the procedure.
However, the lawyers for the petitioners alleged that the Minister of Health had also issued a statement regarding the vaccination of children, pointing out that it was a violation of the promise made by the Director General of Health Services to the Supreme Court.
The lawyers of the petitioners stated that they expect to appear before the court in this regard in the future.
However, the lawyers for the petitioners further pointed out to the court that if children are being vaccinated, it is advisable to obtain the consent of their parents or guardians and continue the process.
After considering the facts presented, the three-judge bench ordered that the petition be called on the 31st of next month.
The fundamental rights petition was filed by three persons including Dr. Dharani Rajasingham.
The petitioners claim in court that forcible vaccination of persons is against the law.
They also point out that the respondents do not have the power to impose such a law without the approval of the legislature.
Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, State Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Director General of Health Services and the Attorney General have been named as respondents.