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Supreme Court Warns Medicos of Contempt Action

The Supreme Court of India today asked the students to end their agitation on the reservation issue. The court expressed that if they fail to do so contempt// action can be initiated against the students.

The striking doctors were told that their protest had left "patients at the mercy of God".

"We are told that they (students) are continuing with the strike. If they are over-reaching our orders, they are in for a surprise. It can amount to contempt," warned a vacation Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice L S Panta.

They expressed displeasure over the students continuing their agitation notwithstanding the "clear indication" given by the court that the OBC quota issue is being examined by it.

"Surprisingly, contrary is happening. Ultimately people waiting to get treated at hospitals are being affected," the Bench observed after taking suo moto note of medical students and doctors continuing with their strike.

Making it clear that the medicos cannot protest since the matter was sub-judice, the Bench spoke about two judgments of the apex court to caution them.

The Court said it was concerned about public interest "as the patients who are admitted in hospitals are at the mercy of God".

"We are not concerned at this stage about the Government policy. We are concerned at this stage about the plight of the people," the Bench observed and asked Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian to file tomorrow a memorandum giving details about the latest position regarding the strike and protest by the medicos against the government move to extend 27 per cent quota to the OBCs in the institutions of higher education.

Government meanwhile said that Army doctors will be called from tomorrow to restore services in state-run hospitals in view of the continuing strike by medicos against reservation.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Health Ministe r A Ramadoss said, "we are going to maintain services in the hospitals come what may. We will be calling doctors from the Army tomorrow and appoint new doctors." He ruled out invoking ESMA against the striking doctors.


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