Delhi HC Directs Striking AIIMS Nurses Union To Furnish Undertaking Of Good Behaviour, After Directing To Return To Work
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the AIIMS Nurses Union, which announced a strike earlier this week following the suspension of its President over an unsavoury incident in the medical institution, to furnish an undertaking of good behaviour and conduct and asked AIIMS not to take further precipitative action against other persons involved in the episode.
Justice Yashwant Varma, who was informed that the nurses have returned to work, stated that in situations such as the present one, a solution has to be found and temperatures have to be cooled down.
In all these situations, you have to find a solution. Nobody is telling you (AIIMS) to withdraw (the suspension)...All that we wanted was don't take precipitative action and we will ask them to give an undertaking, stated the Judge who granted time to AIIMS counsel to seek instructions on the aspect of bringing the matter to an end.
Advocate Satya Ranjan Swain, appearing for AIIMS, submitted that while two persons have been charge-sheeted and one of whom has also been suspended, presently, no further punitive disciplinary measures are proposed to be taken against the other persons who were identified in that incident.
He added that a Committee shall be duly constituted with the expedition to examine the grievances of the nurses union.
The Court clarified that notwithstanding AIIMS' stand, the disciplinary proceedings that may have already been initiated shall be proceeded with in accordance with the law.
The Court granted four weeks to the union to file its response to AIIMS' petition seeking a direction to the union to desist from resorting to strike in any manner and listed the case for further hearing on July 29.
The Court further requires a responsible office bearer of the Union to submit an undertaking before the competent authority of the petitioner Medical Institution of good behaviour and conduct on behalf of all of its members and that the functioning of the Institute and the extension of patient services and care shall not be disrupted in any manner, it added.
"The Court notes that in respect of persons who were identified as being part of the unsavoury incident which occurred on April 22, 2022, in the Institute, the petitioner has issued a charge sheet against two of those persons and one of whom has also been suspended. The Court takes on board the statement of learned counsel for the petitioner who on instructions states that presently no further punitive disciplinary measures are proposed to be taken against the other persons who were identified in that incident. The statement so made is recorded and accepted," the Court noted in the order.
On Tuesday, the judge had directed the AIIMS Nurses' Union to ensure that its member nurses, who are on strike since the morning, immediately rejoin work, and said that the nurses must place the interest of the patients above and beyond their dispute with the administration.
The AIIMS Nurses' Union had earlier announced an indefinite strike with effect from Tuesday morning on account of the suspension of its President Harish Kajla and demanded its revocation.
The Court had observed that while the rights of the union to espouse the cause of its members stands duly recognised, it must bear in mind the deleterious impact that the call to strike would have on the medical institution as well as patients awaiting emergency surgery and care.
AIIMS had informed the court that the nurses' union refused to attend to duty following a notice issued on April 25 and the same resulted in the cancellation of various surgeries and has crippled the functioning of a centre of excellence.
It had further submitted that action against the office bearer was based on video clips of an incident that took place on April 22 and that the demands of the union were under active consideration and there was no justification to go on a strike.
With PTI inputs