Doctors Cannot be Directed to Withdraw from Strike: Supreme Court

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doctor strikeThe hon’ble Supreme Court of India expressed its expectation that the doctors will not continue with their strike anymore. The Court stated that the doctors are life savers and definitely will withdraw from strike in the coming days. The petition was filed as a Public Interest Litigation by People for Better Treatment which is an NGO which stood against the strike of doctors in the year 2012. The NGO also submitted before the Court that the strike be declared against the law. For the NGO, advocate M N Krishnamani raised the argument that the doctor’s strike is contrary to the terms of Medical Council India. The NGO also requested the Court to take legal action against the doctors who resort to strike. The case was considered by the H L Dattu, hon’ble Chief Justice of India and Justice A K Sikri who pointed out that even the lawyers often resort to strike. So, it is irrelevant to issue a direction in this subject.

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The Court also expressed its hesitation to give an order which cannot be enforced to the complete extent. Therefore, the Court dismissed the Public Interest Litigation and stated that the petitioners have asked for the relief which is the point of discussion but practically an order cannot be granted. The Court considered the doctors as life savers and they are not expected to move illegal strike hereafter. In 2012, the Public Interest Litigation was initiated when the Indian Medical Association declared strike all around India. The strike objected some of the alterations brought by the Government of India in the medical profession. At that point of time also, the Supreme Court turned down to hold up with the issue.

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In this case, the Court highlighted doctors to be the agents of God and refused to direct the Medical Council of India to issue negative remarks on the doctors who resort to strike. The major contention of the NGO was that the doctors who undergo strike have no just, moral or lawful right to deny treatment to the patients. They have also acted against the ethics of medical profession.