The restraining order was passed after the court was informed that all the grievances were being looked into in a sympathetic manner
NEW DELHI – The crisis at Delhi’s prestigious All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) appears to be over for now as the 500-odd nurses who had gone on an indefinite strike on Monday have been told by the Delhi High Court that they cannot do so.
“Respondent is restrained from continuing with the strike till further orders,” a single-judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla ruled in response to a petition filed by the AIIMS, reports Bar and Bench. The hospital contended that the strike was illegal and in violation of the Industrial Disputes Act as no six-week notice in terms of Section 22 was served to it.
The court passed the order after it was also informed that all the grievances raised by the nurses were being looked into in a sympathetic manner. The matter would be heard next on January 18, 2021.
After the court order, the AIIMS administration extended an invitation to the protesting nurses’ union for a meeting at 5 pm on Tuesday, say media reports.
The nurses had launched the strike on Monday over a list of 23 demands, including that related to the Sixth Central Pay Commission. “Our union is ready for talks with the administration. We’re feeling bad for patients but we’re helpless as our demands haven’t been met. We had given notice for a strike a month ago but even then, the administration didn’t listen to our demands,” Harish Kajla, president, AIIMS nurses’ union, told news agency ANI earlier in the day.
The union’s demands include correction of an anomaly in the fixation of the initial pay as per the Sixth Central Pay Commission, redress of issues such as abolishment of gender-based reservation in the recruiting process of nursing officers and contractual appointments, enhancement of hospital accommodation and cadre restructuring.
Because of the strike, functioning of the hospital was badly affected and, officials said, emergency services, outpatient departments and operation theatres were curtailed and services were rendered depending on the availability of resident doctors and faculty members.
In a related development, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to consider granting break to doctors engaged in covid-19 duty for the last eight months, given that the work might be affecting mental health of doctors, reports The Indian Express.