Draft guidelines prepared to prevent fake vaccination drives: BMC tells Bombay HC

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has told the Bombay High Court that it has formulated draft guidelines to prevent fake vaccination camps at private housing societies, offices, educational institutions and other premises. BMC’s counsel, senior advocate Anil Sakhre, told the high court on Thursday that the civic body had decided to appoint nodal officers, who will be responsible for monitoring anti-coronavirus vaccination camps at such places.

These nodal officers will inform the local police and health authorities in case of any malpractices, he said. As per the draft guidelines, on receipt of a request for organising such camps, the BMC will verify the registration of the concerned private COVID-19 vaccination centre (PCVC) on the CoWIN portal before the camps begin.

The BMC has also written to the registrar of cooperative housing societies and higher and technical education authorities to inform all housing complexes and educational institutions under them of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines, Sakhre told the HC.

The submissions were made before a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni that was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Siddharth Chandrashekhar through his counsel Anita Castellino, seeking greater access for citizens to the vaccine and the court’s intervention to address the problems people face while booking slots on the CoWin portal.

During the previous hearing held last week, the HC bench had sought to know from the BMC what steps the civic body proposed to take to verify what had been administered to the 2,053 people, who had fallen victims to fake vaccination camps held at different places in the city.

The high court had at that time asked the state government and the BMC to formulate a specific policy to prevent such incidents in future.

Sakhre told the HC on Thursday that the draft guidelines will be signed and finalised by the BMC Commissioner soon.
The court will continue hearing the plea later this month.

On Thursday, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered at MIDC Andheri police station in Mumbai against eight persons for holding fake COVID-19 vaccination camps for a private firm. This is the tenth FIR registered in the metropolis after a racket, which held bogus or unauthorised vaccination camps for housing societies and private firms came to light last month.

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