The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), Bihar, on Thursday cracked the whip against the striking post-graduate junior doctors when it directed the government to file criminal cases against them forthwith and also take steps for cancellation of registration.
Junior doctors of the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) and the Darbhanga Medical College Hospital (DMCH) have been on strike since November 10, demanding hike in monthly stipend and implementation of the residency scheme.
Having heard the government and the striking doctors earlier this week, the full bench of the SHRC, comprising its chairperson Justice S N Jha and two members — Justice Rajendra Prasad and former DGP R R Prasad — also issued notices to victim families to file complaint before the commission for payment of compensation to the next of kin of the deceased.
In doing so, the SHRC also did not absolve the state government. The commission was of the opinion that the strike was a cumulative effect and the government not only allowed it to linger but also delayed taking a decision, precipitating it.
Confirming it, SHRC chairperson Justice S N Jha told the Hindustan Times: “The compensation has to be apportioned because the government delayed the matter.”
Asked about the death toll reported by the government to the commission during the strike, Justice Jha said: “It’s a running list of 100-plus. We want to award compensation to the victim families, but the facts need to be seen on a case-to-case basis. So, we are issuing notice to the victim families to file compliant with relevant documents, mentioning the nature of death, etc., which will help the commission decide the compensation.”
Reached for comments, Principal Secretary, Health, C K Mishra said: “As of now (6:10 pm on Thursday) I have not got a copy of the SHRC directive. When we do, we will act on it.”