Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday asked the Centre why the vaccines are not provided for free to the citizens.
Justice Vinod Chandran made this observation after his colleague Justice Devan Ramachandran on May 7 had taken up this issue suo-motu with regard to vaccination.
The court pointed out that even though it would cost Rs 34,000 crore, the Centre has with it Rs 54,000 crore by way of dividend from the Reserve Bank of India.
The court also highlighted that this was not the time to look into matters of federalism.
However, the counsel for the Centre pointed out that since being a policy issue, he needs some more time and the Court agreed to that and posted the case for another day.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had recently said steps are being taken to procure vaccines from the open market.
According to the statistics of vaccination taken in Kerala, so far over 20 lakhs have had both the doses, while over 63 lakh people have had one dose.
On Monday, in a related issue the Centre said it has so far provided, both through the free of cost category and through direct state procurement category, more than 21.80 crore vaccine doses (21,80,51,890) to States/UTs.