Libertatem Magazine

Delhi High Court Restrains AIIMS Nurses Union From Continuing Strikes

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The order had come in a writ petition filed by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The petition sought exemption from filing duly notarized affidavits and direction to the AIIMS Nurses Union to resume work, especially during COVID, where the whole hospital had come to a standstill.

Facts of the Case

Around 3,000 to 5,000 Nurses of AIIMS went on an indefinite strike over several demands on December 14. The nurses protested against the reservation of 80% female nurses and demanded clarity of their salary structure under the Sixth Pay Commission. Due to which AIIMS approached the High Court of Delhi and sought a direction to restrain the strike.

Submissions before the Court

Advocate VSR Krishna appeared for AIIMS. He submitted that the Petitioner is a ‘Public Utility Service’ as defined in Section 2(n) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Hence, the strike was illegal and a violation of Section 22 of the Industrial Disputes Act as no six weeks’ notice had been served. 

Advocate Krishna further held that the strike violated the judgment passed in Court on its own Motion v. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 2002 (64) DRJ 418 where it had been directed that no employee or staff or faculty member shall cease work for any reason whatsoever.

Mr. Krishna further contended that the Petitioner had no role to play in the resolution of nurses’ demand and a strike was a pressure-building tactic. Though the Counsel informed that all the grievances raised by the nurses were also being looked at.

Court’s Order

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla noted that the grievances of the Union were being considered. Hence, the Court on December 15 restrained the AIIMS Nurses Union to continue the strike until further orders.

The matter shall be next heard on 18 January 2021. 

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