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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 03 August 2021 4.58 PM IST

Couple moves Bombay HC to send minor daughter to US for vaccination

mumbai-vaccine-

​​​​​​MUMBAI: The parents of a minor girl who is a US citizen by birth have moved to the Bombay High Court to enable her to travel to the US for Covid-19 vaccination. The couple sought directions from the court to appoint a legal guardian who could travel along with her. The girl is a Class 11 student of an IB school and her academic year begins on July 1.

A bench of Justices SS Shinde and Abhay Ahuja, after a brief hearing on Tuesday, directed the state to give its response within a week. Purvee Parekh, a co-petitioner and maternal aunt of the girl, sought her legal guardianship through the petition to accompany Saumya Thakker to the USA for her vaccination.

Senior Advocate Dr Milind Sathe appearing for the aunt and Saumya's parents argued that since Saumya was a minor below 14 (which is a permissible age to travel alone), she had to be accompanied by either a parent or a legal guardian.

The petition pointed out that while the Indian government has approved vaccination only for those aged 18 years and above, the US administration allows inoculation for all aged above 12 years.


In ordinary circumstances, the parents claimed, they would have accompanied their daughter. However, they lived with Saumya's grandparents, who were senior citizens and recently recovered from Covid-19. The parents were also advised not to travel for a while and hence they could not go to the USA, it was pointed out.


A stay of 21 days would also be required for the administration of two doses of the vaccine. The parents submitted that the month of June would be sufficient for their daughter to complete her vaccination before commencing her academic year. They submitted that it is also Saumya's fundamental right under Article 21 to rightfully get access to treatment, health, etc.

The US had on April 30 restricted travel of Indians with the exception of US citizens. A minor US citizen can be accompanied by a non-citizen. The parents sought legal guardianship for their daughter as there was no legal remedy available under the guardians and wards act.

The court issued a notice in the matter and posted the case after one week.

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TAGS: VACCINE FOR DAUGHTER, BOMBAY HIGH COURT, LEGAL GUARDIAN, DR MILIND SATHE, VACCINATION
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