New Delhi, Dec 14: The indefinite strike of nurses at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has prompted the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry to invoke emergency powers in order to end the ongoing agitation which started on Monday afternoon.
A late evening order issued by the Ministry has directed the hospital administration to end the ongoing strike immediately, citing a Delhi High Court order passed on May 20, 2002, where a code of conduct was put in place by the court, which forbids any staff or faculty member of the AIIMS to disrupt services “for any reason whatsoever”.
The ministry also threatened that non-compliance of its direction would be treated as an offence and action against the violators would be taken as per the law.
“… Code of Conduct was put in place by the Hon’ble Court which was made applicable not only to all the employees of AllMS but also to the Staff and Faculty members. The Code of Conduct, inter alia, provides that there should be no cessation of work for any reason whatsoever or the aiding, or abetting of such disruption or cessation,” the order issued by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan read.
“..it is hereby directed that AlIMS New Delhi should ensure that directions of the Judgement of the Hon’ble High Court are strictly complied with without fail and there should be no cessation or disruption of Nursing functions in the AllMS nor such an action aided or abetted. Non-compliance will be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act read with the Indian Penal Code and action will be taken accordingly against defaulting authorities/employees,” it stated.
On Monday afternoon, around 5,000 nurses of AIIMS declared the indefinite strike after the premier health institute converted the role of employment from permanent to contract basis. The strike was scheduled to be observed from Wednesday.
Besides, the nurses told IANS that they were assured by the Union Health Jinister Dr Harsh Vardhan in a meeting held last year that their salary would be restructured as per the Sixth Pay Commission, which is yet to be done by the administration.
In the response to the strike, the AIIMS administration has directed its faculty members and staff not to cease work, shout slogans, hold demonstrations or meetings within the campus or around 500 meters of radius of the institute’s boundary.
AIIMS Director, Dr Randeep Guleria called the strike “very very inappropriate” and appealed the nurses to return to their work.