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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Karnataka doctors strike over

Curtesy vijaya karnataka

Karnataka doctors strike over

Curtesy: Vijayavani

Karnataka government doctors strike, ESMA, and High Court,


High Court pulls up State, doctors
Oct 29, 2014 11:47 PM ,

By Krishnaprasad
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday took the State
government to task for failing to invoke Essential Services
Maintenance Act (ESMA) against government doctors to
prevent them from going on strike and also for failing to
make alternative arrangements for patients in advance.
The court also said that doctors on government duty cannot
go on strike and they would have to approach legal forums
such as the courts for getting their grievances redressed if
the government failed to honour their reasonable demands.
A Division Bench comprising Justice K.L. Manjunath and
Justice Ravi Malimath made these observations orally after
government counsel told the Bench that services in
government hospitals had returned to normality as doctors
reported back to duty on Wednesday and they would work
for a month though many of them had submitted their
The Bench, which was hearing a public interest litigation
petition filed by N.P Amrutesh against doctors’ strike, also
asked the State to file its statements while asking the
president of the Karnataka Medical Officers’ Association to
be present in the court on Thursday.
The Bench asked the counsel why the government did not
invoke ESMA against the doctors when the High Court had
issued specific directions in 2005 and 2009 when a group of
doctors went on strike then. “Why can’t we take up
contempt of court case suo motu against the government
for not following directions issued in 2005 and 2009,” the
Bench asked government counsel.
When it was pointed out that two persons died on Tuesday
due to “non-availability of doctors” in different government
hospitals, the Bench asked why the government did not act
when it was fully aware of the demands of the doctors more
than three months ago.
What alternative arrangements were made by the
government at its hospitals when the association issued
notice one month ago about the strike and indicating that
they would resign en masse, the Bench questioned. “You
should have accepted their resignation and made alternative
arrangements,” the Bench observed.
“It is the third time this kind of drama is happening in the
State with doctors going on strike. Why you did not act
timely despite previous directions from the High Court,” the
Bench asked while adjourning the hearing till Thursday.
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