Deciding body (English)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Outcome of the decision
A Symbiosis University employee filed a petition with the Bombay High Court after the university ordered him to take unpaid leave until he was fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Based on earlier judgments by the Supreme Court on the same matter, the Symbiosis Society assured the Bombay High Court that it would allow its unvaccinated employees, who had been sent on unpaid leave until they were fully vaccinated, to resume work. Based on that the petition was disposed of.
Facts of the case
The petitioner claimed that he had received an email from the Symbiosis society’s principal director, requesting the immunization status of staff and compliance with Covid-19 requirements. The Petitioner responded to the email, explaining that he was unable to get vaccinated owing to personal health reasons. Later Symbiosis University’s Human Resources (HR) department sent out an email ordering all unvaccinated employees to take unpaid vacation until they could present confirmation of having completed their Covid immunization by showing their certificates. Aggrieved by this, the petitioner filed a writ petition against the dean of administration and academics of Symbiosis, in the Bombay High Court making the plea that his employer’s email should be declared unconstitutional and illegal.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
Relying on the aspect mentioned by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Jacob Puliyel vs. Union of India & Ors. Writ Petition (Civil) No. 607 of 2021: personal autonomy of an individual, which is a recognized facet of the protections guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, restrictions imposed by government are open to scrutiny by constitutional courts as per the requirement laid down in K.S. Puttuswamy v. UOI (2017) 10 SCC1. In view of this, the respondent decided to review their vaccination policy, issue fresh guidelines, and address the grievances of the petitioner. Hence the petition was disposed off.
Conclusions of the deciding body
The claim of the petitioner was upheld. Since the respondent decided to review their vaccination policy, issue fresh guidelines, and address the grievances of the petitioner, the petition was disposed of.
Fundamental Right(s) involved
Fundamental Right(s) instruments (constitutional provisions, international conventions and treaties)
Rights and freedoms specifically identified as (possibly) conflicting with the right to health
General principle applied
Balancing techniques and principles (proportionality, reasonableness, others)
The Court relied on the Supreme Court decision given in Jacob Puliyel vs. Union of India & Ors, and applied the reasonableness principle to balance privacy rights with unreasonable vaccination mandates. The court was convinced by the fact that the respondent was ready to review their vaccination policy, issue fresh guidelines, and address the grievances of the petitioner based on the Jacob Pulliyel judgment and hence the petition was dismissed.