A division bench presided by Calcutta High Court Chief Justice T.B. Radhakrishnan has declared that Medical Council of India (MCI) and state medical councils (SMCs) must take appropriate disciplinary action if a complaint is lodged against any doctor associated with “doctors’ strike”. Supreme Court of India previously said that doctors have no right to go on “strike” under any condition in response to a PIL filed in 2012 by PBT. Echoing the Apex Court Judgment, Calcutta High Court directed last week that complaint must be lodged with the medical council against the striking doctors for violation of the law and appropriate disciplinary action must be taken by the medical council against the striking doctors.
This historic judgment was delivered after PBT filed another PIL against West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) following a state-wide “doctors’ strike” called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) (Bengal branch) in 2017 that crippled the healthcare services and brought endless pain, suffering and even some deaths of the ordinary patients. PBT moved the PIL after WBMC failed to take any disciplinary action against the striking doctors. While PBT always supports lawful demonstrations by doctors to express legitimate grievances of the medical community but doctors should not go on “strike” to settle their score against the government by holding the defenseless patients at ransom. (Read the Judgment below)