Delhi HC orders AIIMS to form grievances board as nurses call for strike

New Delhi: The Delhi High court on Wednesday ordered All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) to form a board for hearing the grievances of employees after the nurses went on strike last night.

“No punitive measures would be taken immediately on the persons identified in the incident, against whom action has not been started,” the court said.

“Do not take any immediate action. Let things cool down. Take undertaking, set up a board. You have to strike a balance,” Justice Yashwant Varma directed AIIMS.

The court was told that the president of the nurses union has already been suspended. “Two have been charge-sheeted and the president has been suspended.”

The bench asked the counsel appearing for AIIMS that if the institute finds anything wrong, then “take it in accordance with the law”.

“You won’t take any immediate punitive action against any of them. Respondents will also give an undertaking that the functioning of the institute shall not be hampered,” the bench said.

A petition has been listed for July 29, 2022, for further hearing.

Advocate Abhijat, appearing on behalf of the nurses union, submitted that the union has already decided to call off the strike. “Kindly grant time to file a reply. We will give an undertaking within 24 hours.”

Advocate Satya Ranjan Swain, appearing for AIIMS, submitted that doctors were not allowed to go inside the main operation theatre (OT).

The bench asked him whether they want to take further action or bring to an end the issue. “Set up a board and hear the grievances of the employees. Ask the employees to submit an undertaking of good behaviour and not to interfere in the daily operations,” the bench iterated.

Advocate Swain submitted that after seeing the video, a show-cause notice has been issued to 37 members and 5 office bearers of the union.

The bench directed advocate Swain to speak to the Director AIIMS and to take instructions to the effect that how to discipline maintain and institute is crippled.

Advocate Swain further submitted that the nurses union had sent two letters regarding the issue of shift timings, to which the court told the Counsel that it is an institute which is to solve these issues. “Note their problems and bring them to an end.”

The High Court on Tuesday had directed the AIIMS nurses union to ensure that the employees including nurses who are on strike to join duties immediately.

On Tuesday AIIMS moved Delhi HC seeking direction to Nurse Union and any staff of AIIMS to desist from resorting to strike or in any manner disrupting the general functioning of the petitioner’s institute and hospital.

In a letter addressed to the AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, the Union wrote, “In response to your unilateral decision to suspend Harish Kajala, president of AllMS Nurses Union, without even citing proper reasons, the union has called an emergency executive meeting took the decision to go on indefinite strike from 8 AM on April 26 demanding immediate revocation of suspension of Harish Kumar Kajla and stopping of all kinds of retaliative measures against union executives and Union members of main operation theatre (OT).”

However, reacting to the incident, taking to social media yesterday morning, the Association of Resident Doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi wrote, “Doctors and nurses have worked together in harmony, with mutual respect, to bring AIIMS to new heights. Without good nursing care, the holistic treatment of patients can’t be imagined. Voice of RDA AIIMS is not against any person or union, but against this unjust behaviour.”

(This is an ANI story. Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by News24.)

first published:April 27, 2022, 6:55 p.m.

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