Panel’s report submitted

Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday adjourned to April 4 the hearing in a case relating to the government doctors’ strike and their pay revision.

The case was adjourned by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice K.M. Joseph when it came up for further hearing on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the government submitted a report of the working group that looked into the grievances of the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA). The group headed by Health Secretary Vishwas Mehta recommended revision of the government order issued on January 3, 2008 on implementing a common special allowance to all the doctors irrespective of the nature of their duties. It recommended that the common special allowance be re-structured considering the service seniority of doctors.

The group also recommended to the government to issue separate orders to clear the ambiguity on difficult rural areas to be identified and to entrust the Director of Health services with the task of submitting a detailed programme on this issue.

The group also suggested that benefits for serving in hazardous rural areas be extended to dental doctors as well.

The group said that the repeated agitations and unrest should be avoided at all levels by the doctors. Discussions were on for improving the service conditions of doctors, including proper pay and allowances.

It also recommended that the protection of allowances while fixing the pay revision should be included in the terms of reference in the next pay commission.

Directive to TDB

A Division Bench has directed the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to convene a meeting before March 31 to decide on various items, including the budget.

The Bench comprising Justice P.R. Raman and Justice V.K. Mohanan observed that in case the board meeting was not held because of the absence of the president or want of nomination or any other reason, an adverse inference would be drawn against those found responsible for the situation. It would be presumed that they had “incapacitated” themselves in continuing and action would be taken against them.

The court made the observation while considering a report of the Ombudsman for the TDB and Cochin Devaswom Board.