The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government to file a reply on reports that around 80 patients died across the state during the six-day strike called by doctors affiliated to the Maharashtra State Gazetted Medical Officers Organisation (MAGMO).

A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice R. V. Ghuge was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Gunratan Sadavarte seeking action against the medical officers who were on strike.

While the strike was called off on Monday, after the intervention of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, the petition has sought compensation to the legal heirs for death of patients due to the failure to provide proper medical assistance in Government-run hospitals and public health centres.

The Court also asked the state government to file a reply as to what action can be taken against the doctors under the Maharashtra Essential Services and Maintenance Act 2012 (MESMA), which allows the government to penalise striking employees.

The bench also sought a reply from the government on what measures it undertook to counter the strike of which the government had advance notice.