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The Delhi High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of non-payment of salary to the Resident Doctors of MCD hospital and issued notice. (Court on its own motion vs UOI)
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Prateek Jalan issued notice to Central Government, Delhi Government and North Delhi Municipal Corporation and other respondents.
Suo motu cognizance was taken in view of news reports published in various newspapers/news channels.
The reports stated that nearly 300 resident doctors in two MCD hospitals, Hindu Rao Hospital and Kasturba Hospital, were threatening mass resignations or strike due to non-payment of salaries for the last three months.
North DMC submitted before the Court that salaries had not been paid to the resident doctors i.e. Junior Residents, Senior Residents and PG Doctors in MCD hospitals since March 2020 due to financial constraints.
The Court was informed that the total liability under the head of salary of resident doctors of all six North DMC hospitals - Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, Rajendra Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis Hospital, Maharishi Valmiki in Infections Diseases Hospital, Mrs. Girdhar Lal Maternity Hospital and Balak Ram Hospital, was Rs 8 crore per month.
North DMC claimed that they had limited means and had to pay salaries to various other employees including Safai Karamcharis; Maalis, Drivers etc.
Nonetheless, North DMC assured that the payment of outstanding salaries for the month of March 2020 would be paid to Junior Residents, Senior Residents as well as to PG doctors on or before June 19, 2020.
The Delhi Government submitted that they have already disbursed the legally payable amount to North DMC and were ready to disburse even an additional amount for payment of salary to the resident doctors of all six hospitals by June 18.
In view of Delhi Government's submission, the Court stated that the amount given by it shall be utilized by North DMC for the payment of outstanding remuneration for the month of April 2020 and the amount shall not be retained unnecessarily.
"The adjustment of the accounts can always be done at later stage but the salary is required to be paid on priority to the resident doctors. This arrangement has been made as a special case for the resident doctors keeping in mind the non-payment of salary since March, 2020 considering the current pandemic situation.", the Court remarked.
Centre was represented by Standing Counsel Anil Soni.
ASG Sanjay Jain with Additional Standing Counsel Satyakam appeared for Dlehi Government.
Standing Counsel Akhil Mittal appeared for North DMC.
Read the Order: