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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Court restrains AIIMS nurses’ union from continuing strike

AIIMS, in a petition before the court, submitted that the union is a public utility service as defined in Section 2(n) of the Industrial Disputes Act and their strike is in violation of Section 22 of the Act.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | December 16, 2020 1:40:06 am
Court restrains AIIMS nurses’ union from continuing strikeAsking the union to file a reply, if any, to the plea in 10 days and granting AIIMS a week thereafter to file any rejoinder, the court listed the case next on January 18. No one was present on the union’s behalf during the hearing.

The Delhi High Court Tuesday restrained the AIIMS nurses’ union from continuing with its strike after the hospital approached court. The union began an indefinite strike Monday afternoon after issuing a strike notice raising various demands and issues, including those with regard to the 6th Central Pay Commission, to authorities.

AIIMS, in a petition before the court, submitted that the union is a public utility service as defined in Section 2(n) of the Industrial Disputes Act and their strike is in violation of Section 22 of the Act.

It was also argued that the strike is in violation of a judgment passed by a division bench of the High Court in May 2002, in which keeping in view the special circumstances and sensitive nature of the super-speciality referral hospital, which requires uninterrupted and smooth functioning of each and every sphere of activity, it was directed that no employee of AIIMS shall cease work for any reason whatsoever.

Justice Navin Chawla, while issuing notice to the union, said, “Keeping in view the submissions made and the assurance given by the petitioner (AIIMS) that the grievance of the respondent (AIIMS Nurses Union) is being considered and will be duly considered in an appropriate manner, the respondent (union) is restrained from continuing with its strike till further orders.”

Asking the union to file a reply, if any, to the plea in 10 days and granting AIIMS a week thereafter to file any rejoinder, the court listed the case next on January 18. No one was present on the union’s behalf during the hearing.

Advocate V S R Krishna, representing AIIMS, earlier argued that the strike is against public interest and the institute has no role in the dispute as the Centre is the authority to look into the union’s demands. Krishna also submitted that an alternative remedy is available to them before the Central Administrative Tribunal. “All their grievances were being looked into in a very sympathetic manner,” submitted Krishna, adding it is very unfortunate that the whole hospital has been brought to a “total standstill” when the country is facing the pandemic.

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