The Delhi High Court has directed a private school here to allow an unvaccinated teacher to join duties after a medical board found he was at a "higher risk" of having an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Justice Rekha Palli noted the teacher shall always wear a mask while in the school premises and observe COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and guidelines.

Advocate Tishampati Sen appeared for the Petitioner while Advocate Avnish Ahlawat appeared for the Delhi government, Advocate Anurag Ahluwalia for the Center and Advocate Puneet Mittal for the school.

The Delhi government told the Court that in view of the medical condition of the petitioner, it has acceded to his request for exemption from COVID-19 vaccination as a special case.

"..the writ petition is disposed of by directing the respondent no. 4 to forthwith permit the petitioner to join his duties", directed the Court in its order dated September 22.

The report given by a 5-member Board constituted by the AIIMS opined the petitioner was at a higher risk of developing an allergic reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine as compared to the general population.

The Court also ordered the school to release the balance salary, after deducting 10 per cent, as well as the allowances payable to the petitioner for the relevant period. This, after the petitioner agreed to forego 10% of his salary for the entire period, since the school cannot be faulted for not permitting the petitioner to perform duties.

The petitioner suffered from Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma (a type of cancer) and was thus consistently advised by doctors that his condition may deteriorate in case he takes the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, following the government orders making it mandatory for all teachers to be 100 per cent vaccinated, he was not allowed to discharge his duties. He told the court that the exemption granted to him by the authorities was unilaterally withdrawn in October 2021.

Cause Title: R. S. Bhargava v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Ors.

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With PTI inputs