No room for evading duties: Himachal HC rejects Doctor plea against deputation to COVID makeshift hospital
Shimla: Holding that in the garb of self-unwillingness to serve, a doctor cannot be relieved from his duties amidst the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday has dismissed a plea by a doctor, who had challenged the order of his deputation to a makeshift COVID-19 hospital.
The High Court bench pointed out that considering the rapid surge of Covid-19 cases across the State and the country, rotational service is the key to keep the healthcare infrastructure away from collapsing. Amidst such a situation, the petitioner doctor's unwillingness cannot be entertained and he cannot be permitted to shirk his duties and responsibilities, mentioned the HC bench.
While dismissing the petition filed by a doctor, who was shifted to a makeshift COVID-19 hospital in Una from Kangra, a division bench comprising Justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Chander Bhusan Barowalia ruled;
"This tendency has to be dealt and curbed with an iron fist."
In the plea, the doctor had said that he suffered accidental injuries in 2018 and was unable to serve at the place of deputation, reports IANS.
The bench observed,
"The petitioner has failed to realize the health workers in overcrowded hospitals, the policemen and other frontline workers who are already beset with overwhelming load of COVID-19 patients and these workers are exhausted from almost a year of restless fighting against the pandemic."
The court also said that the state is currently fighting the grimmest battle against COVID-19, which is nothing short of a disaster culminating in mass deaths and, therefore, it is imperative that the frontline workers are made to work on a rotation basis or else the health system is likely to collapse with the sudden and drastic surge in COVID-19 cases.
The bench said the petitioner was trying to escape from the duties and responsibilities that have now been assigned to him as there "is no contemporaneous records to show the petitioner is in any manner incapacitated to serve at the transferred station and if the petitioner is fit enough to render his services in Kangra district, why he cannot serve at the COVID-19 makeshift hospital in Una district".
The bench added,
"A government servant is a holder of status and that cannot be made depending on his will. Once a person accepts the status as per the rules, he no longer remains a simple individual, but becomes an integral part of governance and at times even the face of the government."