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Strikes in hospitals illegal: HC

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 01:58 IST

THE ALLAHABAD High Court has declared strikes affecting the functioning of hospitals across the State, including the present strike of junior doctors of the Moti Lal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad, as illegal.

The court has warned that any person disobeying this order would not only be dealt with offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code but also under the Contempt of Court Act.

The court also directed that as and when the report of the strike in any hospital is given to the district magistrate or senior superintendent of police of that district, they shall immediately act upon the notice and arrest all those persons responsible for closing the hospital facilities.

Passing this order, a Division Bench comprising Justice Sunil Ambwani and Justice Dilip Gupta on Friday observed, “We failed to understand as to how medical students can resort to strike, which may affect the functioning of the hospital.

The students, who strike the work of the hospitals, do not deserve to be doctors’’.

Elaborating its stand, the court said, “The medical facilities made available in the hospitals are for the benefit of all the persons requiring medical attention. This right is basic human right, guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution (right to life). It cannot be curtailed by anyone for any cause or making grievances about their demands. We cannot tolerate the situation, where the employees or students may stop the functioning of the hospital, and allow the sick and infirm to suffer. Such a right cannot be conceded in a civilised society’’.

“We are not making any comments on the cause for which the students are on strike, as it is not before us,’’ the court said.  The court passed this order when, during the course of hearing of a writ petition filed by Satish Chaturvedi, it was brought to its notice that the undergraduate students of the Moti Lal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad, had resorted to strike in protest against the Central government’s reservation policy and that for the last two days they had not allowed the outpatient department of the Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital, Allahabad, an associate hospital of the Medical College, to function.