SC refuses IMA’s plea seeking contempt over non-payment of salaries to docs

Published: Dec 3, 2020, 3:13 pm IST

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to entertain a contempt plea by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) against the Delhi Chief Secretary for alleged non-payment of salaries to doctors. The top court asked the IMA to move the High Court, which is already dealing with the matter.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah said there was no point for the court to examine this plea.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing IMA, submitted before the bench that after the High Court intervention, salary for April and May was paid, but again the salary was not paid from June to October. Singh submitted that after the contempt application was filed in the top court, salaries were paid to doctors from June to October.

Singh argued that this was not a correct trend, where court orders were required to pay salaries of the doctors, who are frontline warriors in Covid-19 pandemic.

The bench noted that on July 29, the High Court had already passed the order and it also monitoring the issue. Singh insisted that doctors should be paid on time, and there was no substantial hearing on this matter in the High Court.

The bench told Singh that there is no doubt that doctors should be paid on time and the Centre has already passed an order in this matter.

The Delhi High Court in July had told the AAP government to release funds to North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) for the salaries, so that it could pay the stipends of the resident doctors in six hospitals run by it. The High Court gave 15-days time period to the government to release Rs eight crore, as was done by it earlier, to NrDMC. The High Court directed no delays should be cited due to the paperwork.

The High Court noted that resident doctors get stipend instead of a regular salary, which should not to be denied to them.

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