Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal State to file a comprehensive report within 7 days as to what steps the government is taking to end the ongoing “doctors’ strike” in Kolkata that has crippled medical services in hospitals across the state for the past 5 days. The court has also reminded the doctors that they have taken Hippocratic Oath and should not join in any strike to deprive the patients from treatment. This order was passed on Friday (Jun 14) in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by PBT that has also claimed that Supreme Court has already declared (in 2014 in response to another PIL filed by PBT in the Apex Court) that doctors have no right to go on a strike and if they do, disciplinary action must be taken against the striking doctors. PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha personally appeared on behalf of PBT to argue this PIL on Friday (see news below).
In the meantime, under pressure from ongoing strike and disrupted medical services, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has appointed four senior doctors headed by Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, the grossly tainted and convicted by Supreme Court for Anuradha Saha’s death, to negotiate with the striking doctors. Ever since Apex Court found Dr. Mukherjee guilty for medical negligence causing death of Anuradha Saha and awarded highest compensation in Indian medical history in 2013, Banerjee government has been trying desperately to promote Dr. Mukherjee to repair his dented public image. This 85-year old Kolkata doctor was given the highest state award in medicine in 2014 (“Bangabhibushan”), awarded an honorary D.Lit. by the Calcutta University in 2018 and was also chosen as the “chief advisor” for the government. Separate cases are still pending against the Bengal government for gross abuse of power at the present moment.