Chennai

HC judges say right to strike depends upon nature of work

Madras High Court.

Madras High Court.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

‘Doctors cannot afford to go on strike in interest of patients’

The Madras High Court on Friday refrained from passing any orders on the issue of government doctors’ strike after it was informed that the protesters had decided to return to work.

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee said the doctors were certainly entitled to claim their rights through protests but strike was something which they cannot afford to go on in the interest of poor patients.

“The nature of a service will determine whether someone can strike work or not. What will happen if the armymen, police personnel or sanitary workers begin to strike work? Even judiciary cannot,” Justice Seshasayee said.

Justice Sathyanarayanan said, it was not proper on the part of the striking doctors to squat near the entrances to hospitals and prevent free ingress and egress of patients even if the protesters try to justify the strike as having been their last resort.

Later, the judges recorded the submission of Advocate General Vijay Narayan that the striking doctors had given statements to the media that they shall return to work unconditionally and then resume talks with the government on various demands including an increase in their monthly wages.

During the course of hearing, Justice Sathyanarayanan wanted to know about the status of Tamil Nadu Essential Services Maintenance Act which had been styled after the Centre’s Essential Services Maintenance Act.

The A-G sought time to get instructions on that but stated that it appeared to have been enacted in 2002 to handle the enmasse strike by govt employees but was later repealed.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 9:09:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hc-judges-say-right-to-strike-depends-upon-nature-of-work/article29858376.ece

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