IAF officer refuses to take Covid 19 Vaccine; receives a notice

The Gujarat High Court has issued a notice to the Indian Air Force on a petition filed by one of its personnel posted in Jamnagar challenging the show-cause notice issued to him for termination of service after he expressed his unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Yogendra Kumar, who serves as an Air Force officer since May 21, 2018, had been issued a show cause notice asking why he should not be terminated from the service as he disobeyed the office order issued on April 26 and 28 to take the vaccine.

According to the notice, the officer’s continuation in the service is likely to “adversely impact the health of other air warriors and civilians.”

However, a bench of Justices A.J. Desai and A.P. Thaker issued notices to the central government and the IAF on Kumar’s petition. The petition seeks quashing of the dismissal notice served as well as directions to the IAF to follow the government policy that the Covid-19 vaccine is voluntary and not mandatory.

The plea said the decision of respondent no. 1 (IAF) to dismiss the petitioner for refusing to take vaccine was not only contrary to the guidelines of the Union of India, but also violative of Articles 14 and 21.

“The termination from job due to unwillingness to take COVID-19 vaccine is completely illegal, unconstitutional and arbitrary on part of respondent no.1,” the plea said

Kumar added that he had the  right to receive treatment of his choice and that vaccination cannot be forced upon him as it would be violative of individual choice.

The matter will be heard again on July 1.

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