High Court tells resident doctors seeking hike in stipend to call off strike

Bombay High Court directed Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors Wednesday to call off its strike.

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 25, 2013 3:18 am

Bombay High Court (HC) directed Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) Wednesday to call off its strike.

The strike to demand a higher stipend for resident doctors and cancellation of the rural service bond if there is no posting within two months of signing it began Tuesday,affecting a large number of patients in the state.

“We are inclined to give a direction to withdraw the call for strike/mass bunking and further record statement of the advocate general that the state government will take appropriate action as per law,” a division bench of justices Mohit Shah and M S Sanklecha said.

Monday,advocate general Darius Khambata said junior resident doctors were getting a stipend of Rs 31,186 per month and the government had decided to increase it to Rs 36,186.

The doctors,however,are demanding a hike of Rs 10,000.

The government argument to reject the demand is resident doctors in Maharashtra are already getting more than their counterparts in all other states but Delhi.

Responding to these submissions,the HC bench said,“We are of the prima facie view that the state government has looked into the demands of the association and taken necessary steps for redressal of their grievances.”

Regarding the question of the exact amount of stipend,the court said it was an administrative decision.

A PIL challenging the strike was filed by activist Afaq Mandaviya. He sought a direction to prevent the resident doctors from going on a strike and demanded invocation of Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act,2011,if they did so.

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