Bangalore; The High Court on Thursday directed the State government to submit a report on the inconvenience caused to the public during the doctors’ strike in Karnataka.
A division bench comprising Justice K L Manjunath and Justice Ravi Malimath asked how thousands of doctors from across the State left their workplace and gathered at the Freedom Park in Bangalore for the protest.
As the matter came up for hearing, the State government and the Doctors’ Association submitted that the strike had been called off.
However, the Court said the issue was serious since people across the State suffered because of the strike. It was submitted that only 1,200 among 4,500 doctors had turned up for the agitation at the Freedom Park.
“If you have a problem file a public interest litigation. You cannot go on strike.
Who is responsible for the two deaths reported during the strike,” the bench asked.
The State government submitted that the deaths had occurred not because of the strike. The counsel appearing for the State government said that there is no doctor at Bharamasagara government hospital, where a person died, for the last five months.
The Association stated that Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) in the State had lapsed in April 2004.
The bench asked as to why this information was not brought to the notice of the High Court when directions were issued to invoke ESMA in 2005 and 2009. The court directed the State government to submit the report on effects of the strike on the public by the next hearing on November 5.