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Docs' strike: SC notice to Centre, Medical Council
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July 24, 2006 14:15 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and Medical Council of India on a public interest litigation seeking a ban on strike by doctors.

A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta asked the Centre and MCI to respond to the PIL filed by People for Better Treatment, within six weeks. It further gave four weeks to the petitioner to file its rejoinder to the responses from the Centre and the MCI.

The petitioner raised the issue of the death of a patient in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi during the recent anti-quota stir. The court appointed senior counsel Rajiv Dhavan as an Amicus Curiae to assist it in the matter. The court asked Dhavan to assist it in deciding whether doctors can go on a strike.

Formulating the main issues to be considered by it, the bench asked Dhavan to further prepare his submissions/suggestions as to whether doctors strike should be treated as negligence or misconduct on their part. It also asked Dhavan to examine whether MCI can initiate action against the doctors and paramedics for resorting to strike.

The court asked Dhavan to study the petition, counter affidavits filed by both Centre and MCI as also the petitioner's rejoinder and then prepare his submissions or suggestions. It posted the matter for hearing after four months. The court, however, observed that there cannot be a general principle, which would be applicable in all cases and that it would depend upon the factual matrix of a particular case.

Despite repeated requests by senior counsel M N Krishnamani for issuance of notice to AIIMS, the bench said it would consider it at a later stage.

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