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Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, January 31, 2013
The Bombay high court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) after a PIL raised concerns over some doctors associated with the body threatening to go on strike from Thursday.   The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by activist Afak Mandviya. Mandviya contended that the regularity with which these resident doctors go on flash strikes inconveniences thousands of poor patients.

Advocate Datta Mane pushed for the PIL to be heard by the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Anoop Mohta on Wednesday.

Mane said the activist had come across a letter from the director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research on Monday to state-run and civic hospitals and medical colleges, asking them to prepare for an indefinite strike by the doctors starting Thursday.

The PIL alleges that the resident doctors have been stopping work over petty issues, so an absolute decision needs to be taken on their frequent strikes.

Mandviya has also sought the strict implementation of the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act, 2011, which provides for penal consequences if those engaged in essential services resort to illegal strikes. The Act provides for a year’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to Rs2,000 for those striking work illegally.

The bench has scheduled the next hearing on the case for Thursday.