Despite court orders, 26 Srinagar Government Medical College staffers go sans pay for 9 months - Hindustan Times
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Despite court orders, 26 Srinagar Government Medical College staffers go sans pay for 9 months

ByAshiq Hussain, Srinagar
May 28, 2024 02:33 PM IST

The employees alleged that despite giving 7-14 years of their lives to the job, they were being replaced by another lot of contractual employees, which, they said, was not permissible under law

Government Medical College’s 26 temporary employees have gone without salary for the past nine months despite an order for the release of their pay by the Jammu and Kashmir high court (HC) in January.

Srinagar Government Medical College’s 26 temporary employees have gone without salary for the past nine months. (HT FIle)
Srinagar Government Medical College’s 26 temporary employees have gone without salary for the past nine months. (HT FIle)

The employees alleged that despite giving 7-14 years of their lives to the job, they were being replaced by another lot of contractual employees, which, they said, was not permissible under law.

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The employees were engaged as multi-purpose workers (MPW) and data entry operators in the Psychiatric Disease Hospital of GMC, Srinagar under National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) under the ministry of health and family welfare, government of India. While 10 multi-purpose attendants were engaged in 2010 on contractual basis, another 16 employees were recruited as MPWs and data entry operators in 2018.

For the initial years, they were provided a monthly remuneration of 3,000 which was then increased to 9,330 in June 2022.

“In August 2023, the GMC Srinagar tried to expel us from the department on the pretext of non-availability of funds in the scheme after which we filed a writ petition in J&K High Court which has stayed those proceedings and urged government not to disturb the present position of petitioners,” an affected MPW employee, who has crossed his upper age limit for any government job, said.

As the employees didn’t receive their salary, they again approached court and on January 29, 2024, the HC ordered the union territory administration to release their pay pending from September 2023.

“Neither objections were filed in writ petition nor in the present application, therefore the present application is allowed by directing the respondents to release the salary/wages earned by the petitioners, in accordance with law,” the order by Justice Rajesh Sekhri said.

However the employees are yet to get relief as the authorities have held the orders of court in contempt. “Despite the passage of five months, we haven’t received any salary yet. Since August 2023 due to non-payment of our salaries, we are suffering badly, our old parents are ill and our children go to schools, we are all dependent on the salary,” said another employee, who is a data entry operator.

“Now the situation is such that there is not even 10 in our pockets to bring pencils and copies for our children. All of us have taken loans for our day to day expenses,” he said.

Of the 26 employees, six have already crossed the upper age limit of 40 years for government jobs while three more are on the verge of becoming over-aged for any government job.

The employees said they visited the office of health and medical education commissioner secretary Syed Abid Rasheed Shah on April 2 who assured them he will solve the matter. “Even after one and a half months, nothing has been done,” they said.

The employees have been consistently attending their duties at Psychiatric hospital’s Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) and Drug De-addiction Center of Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital.

They said the joint director health and medical education in Jammu and Kashmir had informed the director general of health services in the ministry of health and family welfare in 2009, the state government will take over this scheme after funding support from the Centre ends and the employees will be absorbed by the state.

“This joint director order was endorsed by the Medical Superintendent of Psychiatric Hospital in 2015. But the former principal of GMC, instead of forwarding the recommendations, stopped our yearly extension,” said another employee.

Attempts to contact administrative secretary of health and medical education department, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah and principal GMC, Srinagar, Dr Iffat Hassan were not successful, despite multiple calls on their mobiles.

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