“We are calling doctors corona warriors. Can we not pay them?” the Delhi High Court observed Wednesday during the hearing of a PIL on non-payment of salaries to resident doctors of Kasturba Hospital and Hindu Rao Hospital, run by the North MCD.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan observed when “you (Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain) are appearing in the matter, we want that the doctors are being paid”.
“All salaried men are poor,” the bench remarked, after it was informed that the North MCD was unable to pay employees, including resident doctors, as the Delhi government has not released the entire funds for the first quarter of this financial year.
The civic body also contended that around Rs 162 crore was due to it by the Delhi government in the first quarter of financial year 2020-21 and of that only Rs 27 crore has been sanctioned, which is “yet to be seen”.
The submission was disputed by Additional Solicitor General Jain, who, appearing for the Delhi government, submitting that in its report filed Tuesday the amounts released to the corporation by various departments have been indicated. The ASG said, “All dues have been cleared by the Delhi government.”
While clarifying that the payment of salaries/stipend is related only to the health personnel at Kasturba Hospital and Hindu Rao Hospital, the bench asked the Delhi government to file an affidavit responding to the civic body’s contentions and listed the matter for July 29.
The court was hearing a PIL initiated by itself, after taking suo motu cognizance of news reports that resident doctors of the two hospitals were intending to either resign or go on strike.
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