The Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday stayed three notices issued by the three separate unions of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) to protest and go on strike.
The petition was filed by PGIMER, against a notice dated October 14, 2022, issued by the PGI Medical Technologists Union to observe a one-day mass casual leave on November 14, 2022; a notice dated November 4, 2022, issued by PGI Contract Workers’ Union to hold a protest from November 7, extending it with a strike in case their demands are not met; and a notice dated November 7 issued by PGI Employees’ Union (non-faculty) to go on an indefinite hunger strike from November 14.
Senior Advocate Amit Jhanji, with Advocate Abhishek Kumar Premi, appearing on behalf of PGI, submitted that the HC in three other public interest litigations (PIL) has already passed orders in 2019, 2020, and 2022, prohibiting such strikes.
Jhanji further pointed out that a notification dated January 4, 1968, had been issued by the home secretary, Chandigarh Administration under the East Punjab Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1947, declaring that the Act would apply to all employment under the PGI.
Appearing on behalf of Union of India, Satya Pal Jain, Additional Solicitor General of India and Anil Mehta, Senior Standing Counsel, appearing for Chandigarh, also made the same submission stating that similar orders have been passed earlier by the court and, therefore, the same may also be passed in the present case.
The division bench of Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Vikas Bahl, after hearing the matter held, “It is evident that this court has been repeatedly passing such orders which are already in force. However, every time a Union is elected, same demands and call for strike(s) are made pursuant to which fresh writ petitions are required to be filed”.
The HC said, “Keeping the concept of parity in mind and with a view to upholding the sanctity of the orders passed by this court in similar petitions, it is ordered that operation of the impugned notices dated October 14, 2022, November 4, 2022 and November 7, 2022, shall remain stayed”.