The Supreme Court on Thursday heard the contempt petition filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) against the Delhi chief secretary for non-payment of salaries to doctors in hospitals. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh informed the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah that the doctors, who are frontline warriors against Covid-19, were not paid for June to October. This led doctors to go on a strike.
Singh added that doctors were paid their salaries for April-May after the Delhi High Court order and payments were made after contempt plea was filed in November. However, their salaries from June to October are still pending, Singh said. This forced doctors to go on strike. Doctors, who are in their 30s, were being to ask money from parents because they have not been paid salaries for 4-5 months, Singh added.
Doctors community is beseeching for court’s indulgence. Orders should be passed. Why should doctors not be paid their salaries? Doctors should not be forced to approach court for salaries every time, he said. At least an observation should be made by this court, he added.
To this, the Apex Court bench asked the IMA to pursue this matter before the Delhi HC and said that there is no grounds to entertain this petition and it is for the High court to pass the orders. The petitioners can approach the High court for relief in the petition pending there. The petition that was pending in SC over the issue of pending salary payment has been closed.
The IMA, which has over three lakh doctors as its members, on October 28, moved the Supreme Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Delhi chief secretary and the municipal corporations commissioners for failing to pay salaries to doctors and other frontline corona warriors in Delhi government hospitals despite specific orders from the Apex Court.