Supreme Court To Hear Pil Seeking Protection For Doctors Today

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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition on 18th June filed seeking security for doctors in government hospitals across the country.

In the wake of strikes called by doctors across the country to protest the attack on a doctor in West Bengal, PIL has been filed in Supreme Court seeking protection for doctors.

The PIL seeks a direction to the Central government to deploy uniformed security personnel at every government hospital to ensure the safety of doctors. PIL has also prayed for a direction to the government to formulate guidelines for the safety of doctors and for the same to be implemented in “letter and spirit”.

Additionally, the petition also seeks a direction to the State of West Bengal to take stringent action against those who assaulted the junior doctor in NRS Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata.

The matter was mentioned today i.e. 17th June 2019 for urgent hearing by Advocate Alak Alom Shrivastava. The Vacation Bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant agreed to list the case on, June 18.

The furore was caused by an incident at the NRS Hospital, in which a junior doctor, Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, was severely injured by a mob of people angered by the death of a 75-year-old patient. Junior doctors at the hospital then led an agitation protesting the incident.

Later, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the agitation and urged the doctors to resume work. This sparked protests in other Kolkata hospitals, and eventually spread to other parts of the country.

The matter had even reached the Calcutta High Court, which last week urged the State government to take measures to resolve the grievances raised by the striking doctors, Further, the Bench also appealed that the doctors take up a reconciliatory approach in the larger interest of their patients.

However, the Court refused to grant any interim relief in the PIL. The matter in the High Court is scheduled to be heard on June 21.

In the Year 2017, when I was National President of Indian Medical Association, the Honble Delhi High Court had suo moto taken cognizance of the issue of incidents of doctors in public hospitals being subjected to extreme violence at the hands of the patients and/or their attendants. In the said case, the Honble High Court of Delhi had suo moto made Indian Medical Association a party. The said writ petition WP(C) 3903/2017 is still pending and the next date of hearing is 20th August, 2019.

National IMA is also likely to implead in the case in public interest.

With inputs from Advocate Ira Gupta