Nobody Can Be Forced To Get Vaccinated

In a recent development, the Supreme Court (‘SC’) has held that nobody can be forced to mandatorily undergo vaccination, as the right to bodily integrity is a basic tenet of Article 21 of the Constitution of India (‘Constitution’) which includes the right to refuse vaccination. However, the SC did note that, the Government is entitled to impose restrictions on individual rights in interest of public health subject to the 3-fold test laid down in the Puttaswamy judgment i.e. legality, legitimate need and proportionality. The Court further observed that, “No data has been provided by the Union of India or States before us controverting the material placed by petitioner which indicates that the risk of transmission by unvaccinated is at par with vaccinated. In light of this, the vaccine mandates cannot be said to be proportionate till the infection rate remains low and new development of research emergence which justifies the mandate