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Legality of Doctors Strike: Petition filed in Supreme Court

Legality of Doctors Strike: Petition filed in Supreme Court

A special leave petition has been filed with the Supreme Court challenging the recent Judgement of Allahabad High Court that had implied that Strikes by the medical fraternity working in government hospitals would be construed as illegal and would call for harsh penalties against the striking doctors.

In the month of June , coming down hard on the doctors under the King George Medical University (KGMU) who had gone on strike to oppose new changes in the PG admissions in the state, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has asked the authorities to penalize the striking doctors for causing undue harassment to patients.

Read more: Illegal For Doctors to go on strike : High Court 

The hon’ble court had then observed

Doctors in State Medical Colleges, Government Hospitals and similar other institutions funded by State from public exchequer have no legal or other right to deny to discharge their duties as doctor i.e. administration of medical treatment etc. to the patients. Any such action on their part would be patently illegal and would justify a serious action against them as permissible in law which would include denial of salary or allowance or honorarium etc. as the case may be. Further such activities of abstention, protest, strike etc. amounts to a serious misconduct justifying major penalty and also criminal and tortuous liability if any patient suffer on account of such action of such a doctor.

Protesting the judgement on behalf of the medical profession, Medico-Legal Action Group, a registered Trust concerned with medico-legal issues has filed an appeal with the Apex Court. The petitioner has stated that the high court has based its judgement based on unverified newspaper reports and was impugned in light of various Supreme court Orders on doctors strikes.

Speaking to Medical Dialogues team, Dr Neeraj Nagpal, Convenor, Medicos  Legal  Action  Group told Medical Dialogues team, “The question of strike by doctors has come up before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the past and the Hon’ble Court has held that it cannot pass orders that under any circumstances, doctors should not proceed on strike. The impugned judgment has the effect of violating the earlier orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in this regard. If the impugned order by a Division Bench of the High Court is not set aside, it would act as a precedent and would result in perpetuation of various illegalities “

Matter is tentatively listed for 24th October,2016

11 comment(s) on Legality of Doctors Strike: Petition filed in Supreme Court

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  1. user
    Virender Siwatch October 15, 2016, 1:31 pm

    This is very unfortunate the judges hav become very high headed.v must condemn the decision in strongest words

  2. I agree with Dr. Neeraj and others. The medical profession has to be taken seriously and the individual rights and dignities of its members should be protected. A doctor irrespective of his qualification is not someone to be kicked around,according to everybody\’s whims and fancies. Any ruling against doctors\’ protesting has to be opposed vehemently and collectively. It is well understood that our\’s is a noble profession, but we too have feelings and sentiments.

  3. Agar asli baap ke ho to armyman ko thappad maar kar dekho.Does human rights not apply for doctor PGs.Don\’t other college PG students go on strike or mass bunk.When patients die on road due to road jam and or political rallies who is penalised.Hai kisi ke baap mein dam jo in par ban laga de

  4. Can Army or Police go on strike?

  5. No. But then 8AS can. And police personnel have gone on strike. Besides, give medical fraternity the structure, the pay, the autonomy and the perks enjoyed by IAS / IPS / Army, the reason for strikes will go away. India at time of independence, incidentally, had an IMS. IAS had it removed.

  6. user
    Dr Neeraj Nagpal October 14, 2016, 9:26 am

    My take on the issue

    I feel agitated to see that no other medical organization thought it fit to oppose this judgment which tramples the basic right of doctors to protest against any perceived injustice. Maybe your lordships are correct that for simple denial of Postgraduation doctors do not have a right to go on strike. Do they have a right if they are slapped by patient relative. If not can they go on strike if one of them is stabbed on duty, or killed or if 20 of them are killed at once by a mob in casualty. There must be some cutoff or justification which the courts would consider sufficient grounds for doctors to protest after.

    To say that doctors cannot strike or go on protest for any reason whatsoever appears to me more like the dictat issued by landlords to the Bonded Labourers. The Government has various laws to deal with striking employees most draconian being ESMA which was invoked in this case and strike was called off. Consumer protection Act, Indian Medical Council Act, Indian Penal Code all provide sufficient provisions to prosecute doctors for their errors. The award of Rs 25 lac per patient death irrespective of cause to be recovered from salary of doctors is arbitrary and unjust to say the least. Hospitals cannot become Industry when it suits the Government. If it is an industry then provisions of Industrial disputes Act would be invoked.

    Legal battles are costly and difficult and Medicoslegal Action Group is limited by its resources , however we will put in our best effort to get this judgment overruled because otherwise it will become a very dangerous precedent

    Dr Neeraj Nagpal
    Convenor,Medicos Legal Action Group, Managing Director MLAG Indemnity,
    Ex President IMA Chandigarh
    Director Hope Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Clinic,
    1184, Sector 21 B Chandigarh
    09316517176 , 9814013735
    0172; 4633735, 2707935, 2706024, 5087794
    For Contributions; \”Medicos Legal Action Group\” Ac No 499601010036479 IFSC code UBIN0549967 Union Bank Sector 35 C Chandigarh;

  7. Can Army or Police go on strike?

  8. And ask this question to Army or Police…

  9. Then only Anna can go on strike ??

  10. Are we saying we are the police or army… According to you, people from any profession should not be allowed to strike asking them the same question.

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