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SC orders Govt to pay striking docs

india Updated: Jul 17, 2006 16:22 IST
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The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Government to release salary of the doctors who participated in the recent anti-quota stir.

A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice LS Panta, however, clarified that the medicos will get salary only from May 14 to 30, the day the apex court had asked them to resume their duties.

The medicos had sought salary of period beginning May 14 to June 3.

The court observed that "As a matter of law, we don't approve of doctors going on strike. Normally, the principle of no work no pay would have been applied but for your (Centre's) assurance that no punitive action will be taken against them if they join back duties.

"So you pay the salary," it said.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian submitted that the departure from the no-work-no-pay principle should not be a precedent.

The bench said it was making the departure only because the Government had given an assurance to the students before the court in this regard.

The court has already ordered that the strike period ie May 14 to June 3 shall not be taken note of for the purpose of their completion of training and internship and appearance in post-graduate examination.

Earlier, taking strong exception to the Government's decision not to release salary of the doctors who took part in an anti-quota stir, the court had on July 5 said the Government should act like a model employer.

The court had said that the Government promised no action whatsoever would be taken against the doctors and that it simply wanted them to resume work as patients were suffering.

Complaining that the Government was taking punitive action against doctors who took part in anti-quota stir, Resident Doctors Associations of AIIMS and Maulana Azad Medical College had moved the court on June 30.

They had also sought the leave of internship and residency during the strike period from May 14 to June 3, be condoned so that they were not rendered ineligible to appear in the coming PG entrance examinations.

They had drawn the court's attention to the assurance given by the Prime Minister on May 28 that "no action will be taken against the agitating students, interns and resident doctors in any form as regards service break, termination, pay deduction, legal notice etc."

Thereafter, a similar assurance was given by the Additional Solicitor General to the court on May 31, they pointed out.

An AIIMS office note dated June 6 had stated the doctors may be paid salaries but on June 12 the Ministry of Health asked AIIMS registrar to apply no-work-no-pay rule.

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