SC refuses to entertain IMA's contempt plea over non-payment of salaries to doctors

Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for IMA, said the salary for April and May was paid after HC's intervention but no salary was paid from June to October

Press Trust of India December 03, 2020 19:47:28 IST
SC refuses to entertain IMA's contempt plea over non-payment of salaries to doctors

File image of the Supreme Court of India. Reuters

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a contempt plea filed by Indian Medical Association (IMA) against the Delhi Chief Secretary for alleged non-payment of salaries to doctors and asked it to approach the high court which is dealing with the issue.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said the issue was being dealt with by the Delhi High Court and there is no point in entertaining this plea in the apex court.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for IMA, said the salary for April and May was paid after the high court's intervention but no salary was paid again from June to October. The bench said the high court had already passed its order on 29 July and it is monitoring the issue.

Singh submitted that doctors are termed as frontline warriors and they have to be paid salary on time but there was no substantial hearing in the high court.

He said that after the contempt application was filed in the top court, salaries for the months of June to October were paid to the doctors.

Singh contended that doctors should be paid their salary on time to which the bench said that there is no doubt that salary has to be paid and the Union of India has already passed an order in this regard.

On 29 July, the Delhi High Court had told the AAP government to release to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) the funds it requires to pay the stipends of the resident doctors in the six hospitals run by the civic body.

The high court had asked the Delhi government to release within 15 days an amount of Rs 8 crore, as was done by it earlier, to NrDMC without waiting for completion of paperwork so that the resident doctors can be paid.

It had observed that the resident doctors do not get a regular salary and instead they are only given stipends or emoluments which ought not to be denied to them.

It had made it clear that the amount being released was meant solely for the purpose of paying the stipends or emoluments of the resident doctors in the six hospitals of NrDMC.

It had also directed the corporation to complete all the paperwork in relation to the Rs 8 crore that would be released by the Delhi government and warned that failure to complete the formalities would lead to action against the officials concerned.

The high court order had come while hearing a PIL initiated by it based on news reports that doctors of Kasturba Gandhi Hospital have threatened to resign as they have not been paid salaries since March this year.

The news reports have also stated that recently the doctors of North MCD-run Hindu Rao Hospital had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over non-payment of their salaries for the months of March, April and May.

In its status report, filed in response to the plea, the corporation has said that salaries up to May of all resident doctors in hospitals run by the civic body have been paid.

The corporation has also said in its report that the salary upto April of all of its regular doctors have also been paid.

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