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Docs to get pay for strike but only till May 30: SC
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July 17, 2006 14:45 IST

The Supreme Court today directed the central government to release the salary of doctors who participated in the recent anti-quota stir in New Delhi.

A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice L S Panta, however, clarified that the medicos will get their salary only from May 14 to 30, the day the apex court had asked them to resume their duty.

The medicos had sought salary for the period beginning May 14 to June 3.

The court observed that, 'As a matter of law, we don't approve of doctors going on strike. Normally, the principle of no work no pay would have been applied but for your (Centre's) assuarance that no punitive action will be taken against them if they join back duty.

'So you pay the salary,' it said.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian submitted that the departure from the no work no pay principle should not be a precendent. The Bench said it was making the departure only because the government had given an assurance to the students before the court in this regard.

The court has already ordered that the strike period, ie May 14 to June 3, shall not be taken note of for the purpose of
their completion of training and internship and appearance in post-graduate examination.

Earlier, taking strong exception to the government's decision not to release the salary of the doctors who took part in
the anti-quota stir, the court had on July 5 said the government should act like a model employer.

The court had said the government promised no action whatsoever would be taken against the doctors and that it simply wanted them to resume work as patients were suffering. Complaining that the government was taking punitive action against doctors who took part in the anti-quota stir, the Resident Doctors Associations of AIIMS and Maulana Azad Medical College had moved the court on June 30.

They had also sought the leave of internship and residency during the strike period, from May 14 to June 3, be condoned so that they were not rendered ineligible to appear in the coming PG entrance examinations. They had drawn the court's attention to the assurance given by the prime minister on May 28 that 'no action will be taken against the agitating students, interns and resident doctors in any form as regards service break, termination, pay deduction, legal notice etc.'

Thereafter, a similar assurance was given by the additional solicitor general to the court on May 31, they pointed out.
An AIIMS office note dated June 6 had stated the doctors may be released salary but on June 12 the ministry of health asked the AIIMS registrar to apply the 'no work no pay' rule.

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