IAF personnel challenges termination over refusal to get jab

IAF personnel challenges termination over refusal to get jab
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IAF personnel challenges termination over refusal to get jab

Highlights

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

Ahmedabad: 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.

In an order passed on Tuesday, a division bench of Justices AJ Desai and AP Thaker issued the notice to the IAF and central government and also directed the IAF not to take any coercive action against the petitioner till July 1.

Petitioner Yogender Kumar, an IAF corporal, had moved the high court seeking a direction to cancel the show cause notice dated May 10, 2021, in which the IAF stated that his stand against vaccination "verges to gross indiscipline", and his continuation in the service is likely to adversely impact the health of other "air warriors and Air Force civilians".

"The IAF is of the opinion that your continuation in the disciplined force like Indian Air Force is undesirable and you need to be separated from the service," the petitioner said quoting the notice issued to him.

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

"The termination from a job due to unwillingness to take COVID-19 vaccine is completely illegal, unconstitutional and arbitrary on part of respondent no.1," Yogender Kumar said in his plea while seeking the court's direction to cancel the notice and direct the IAF not to force him to get vaccinated.

The petitioner on February 26, 2021, wrote to the Commanding Officer of their squadron, expressing his unwillingness to take vaccination against COVID-19.

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