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Rajasthan high court asks striking doctors to immediately resume duty

The bench observed that the doctors have no right to go on strike, especially when all their demands have been met.

jaipur Updated: Dec 19, 2017 19:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan high court,Doctors strike,PIL
An old patient pleads for a doctor in Bharatpur on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

A division bench of the Rajasthan high court on Tuesday ordered the striking doctors to end their strike and join duty immediately. It also directed the state government not to arrest the doctors who join duty.

“We mandate that the doctors must resume (their) duties from tomorrow and it would be a condition precedent that in case they report back tomorrow they shall not be arrested by the State,” read the court order.

The order was passed on an application moved by Dr Abhinav Sharma, advocate and petitioner, who filed a PIL in November this year challenging the doctors’ strike. On November 10, the division bench had declared the strike illegal and directed the state government to communicate the same to the doctors which resulted in a compromise on November 12. However, after this, the government transferred 12 doctors, including Dr Ajay Choudhary and Dr Durga Shankar Saini, leaders of the association of in-service doctors. This angered the doctors and they again went on a strike.

It was brought to the notice of the bench that 30 people have died during the strike in November this year and deaths have been reported in the last few days of the strike. Taking note of the situation, the bench came down heavily on the striking doctors asking them to resolve the impasse.

The bench observed that the doctors have no right to go on strike, especially when all their demands have been met and some demands need consideration by the government. The agitating doctors alleged that the health minister had addressed them as “ants and mosquitoes” and this led them to go on a strike. Brushing aside the contention, the bench observed that this cannot be a ground for a strike. However, the court said that neither of the parties should use unparliamentary language.

The bench has renotified the matter for January 3, 2018, in which the prayer for contempt and stay will be taken up for consideration.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 19:57 IST