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Centre Directs States & UTs To Ensure Timely Payment Of Salaries To Doctors & Health Care Workers Engage In COVID 19 Related Duties

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The Ministry of Health & Family welfare on Thursday has issued an order directing the States & Union Territory Administration to ensure that salaries of doctors and health workers doing COVID-19 related duties shall be released on time. 

The order came pursuant to the directions issued by the Supreme Court yesterday, by which it had directed the Centre to issue directions to States & UTs for complying with payment of full wages to doctors and healthcare workers. 

A three judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan directed the Centre to also issue directions to States to comply with providing accommodation to the healthcare workers. 

The Court also said that any violation by States will be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant).

The Court passed its direction on a plea filed by Doctor raising questions on the Centre’s May 15 decision that 14-day quarantine was not mandatory for doctors. 

Doctor Arushi Jain, in her petition filed through Advocates Mithu Jain & Mohit Paul, had also alleged that front line health care workers engaged in fight against COVID19 are not being paid salaries or their wages are being cut or delayed. 

Following which today, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued order stating, “pursuant to the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in a batch of writ petitions and interim application (Writ petition (Civil)10795/2020, 10830 & 10852 & IA 48951 of 2020) and in exercise of powers delegated Under section 10(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 vide order no. 40-2/2020-DM-1(A) dated 11th March 2020, it is hereby directed that the States & Union Territory Administration should ensure that salaries of doctors and healthcare workers doing COVID19 related duty shall be released on time.”

It further directed, “the chief secretary of the States/UTs should ensure compliance of this order by all concerned, violation of which will be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act read with Indian Penal Code, and action taken accordingly against defaulting hospitals/ institutions/ authorities.”

-India Legal Bureau

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