Read Order: Aniruddha Babar vs. The State of Nagaland

LE Staff

Guwahati, August 3, 2021: The Gauhati High Court (Kohima Bench) has issued notice to the Nagaland government while observing that its order, requiring all its employees to be either fully vaccinated or produce a Covid-19 negative test report every 15 days, is prima facie violative of the employees’ rights under the Constitution of India. 

A Division Bench of Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S. Hukato Swu held that the order issued by the Chief Secretary, Nagaland was not in consonance with the orders passed by the High Court in the suo moto PIL pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the right of the employees under the Constitution of India. 

With this observation, the High Court passed interim directions stating that fees should not be charged for testing from Government employees and their salaries should not be stopped for reason of not being vaccinated, till the returnable date. 

The order was passed by the Nagaland government in on July 17, 2021 requiring all state employees to be either fully vaccinated or to produce a Covid-19 negative test report every 15 days. The order stated that the salaries payable to unvaccinated employees would be stopped on July 31 and they would be barred from attending office and their absence would be treated as leave without pay, in absence of due compliance of such order. 

Thus, the High Court ordered for an interim stay and listed the matter for further hearing on August 18 along with the suo-moto Covid-19 PIL. 

At the same time, the Division Bench also clarified that the question on maintainability of the PIL raised by the Addl. A.G. shall remain open. 

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