STATE TIMES NEWSKULGAM: Principal Sessions Judge Kulgam, Tahir Khurshid Raina on Friday while dismissing pre-arrest bail application of Ghulam Jeelani Rather, who halted the vaccination drive, held that there is no concession of anticipatory bail to accused involved in hate campaign against vaccination drive.While rejecting pre-arrest bail application, Principal Sessions Judge Kulgam Tahir Khurshid Raina observed that as rightly opined by WHO, ‘it’s not vaccine that will stop the pandemic, its vaccination’. It further said, “Safe and effective vaccines are a game – changing tool; but for the foreseeable future we must continue wearing masks, cleaning our hands, ensuring good ventilation indoors, physically distancing and avoiding crowds.” Court further observed that it is very unfortunate that while on one hand, the Government is making pain-staking efforts to ensure safety of people against the virus, few rumor mongers like petitioner are acting as stumbling block in this lofty endeavour of the Government. “By spreading rumors and disinformation campaign against vaccination, the petitioner and their ilk are creating a lot of fear psychosis and confusion among general public regarding vaccination. Such unsubstantiated and profane act of the petitioner is not only grossly illegal but amounts to pushing the life of people in peril, who, if not get promptly vaccinated, may fall prey to deadly virus. Let’s not forget the melancholic situation our country faced very recently, on account of second wave of pandemic, which consumed lakhs of precious human lives. As per the experts, there is every likelihood of third wave, which can be more fatal as compared to second wave. To avoid its fatal impact, the only remedy available and suggested by experts is to get more and more people vaccinated. At the same time, it has been witnessed in print and social media that at various places health workers have to face stiff resistance from people during vaccination drive and even have been subjected to assault at same places. This is all because of myths, rumors and canard being spread by people like petitioner herein and on account of it people, especially living in the rural areas are getting skeptical and cynical about vaccination. It amounts to putting the large chunk of people in jeopardy and at the same time to defeat the Government in its drive of achieving target of fully vaccinated country and finally to save countrymen of the brutal effect of any further wave of the pandemic,” the Court observed.Court, while dismissing the bail application, further observed that rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools and accepted by idiots’. Let a message travels in length and breadth of society at large that no such unbecoming and illegal attempt of rumor mongers will be tolerated and those who are creating a hurdle in way of vaccination drive, would be dealt strenuously under law. More so, such haters do not deserve concession of anticipatory bail, rather their free movement and free speech is a threat to society at large, which requires to be circumscribed in accordance with the law for the general good of the society.
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