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Declare Strike/Self Isolation Called By 'Contractual Health Employees Federation' As Illegal During Pandemic: Bihar Govt Moves Patna HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
13 May 2021 4:19 PM GMT
Declare Strike/Self Isolation Called By Contractual Health Employees Federation As Illegal During Pandemic: Bihar Govt Moves Patna HC
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Filing an Interlocutory application before the Patna High Court in a clutch of petitions concerning the COVID situation in the State, the state of Bihar on Thursday (May 13) sought the declaration of the strike/self-isolation called by the "Bihar State Contractual Health Employees Federation" as illegal during the pandemic period. Before a division bench comprising of...

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Filing an Interlocutory application before the Patna High Court in a clutch of petitions concerning the COVID situation in the State, the state of Bihar on Thursday (May 13) sought the declaration of the strike/self-isolation called by the "Bihar State Contractual Health Employees Federation" as illegal during the pandemic period.

Before a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar, the respondent State of Bihar prayed to issue notice to the office bearer of this Federation.

It was further prayed to show cause to them that as during the time of current situation and circumstances prevalent as a result of Covid-19 no one can refrain from discharging their duties and functions.

It was also prayed for directions upon them to call off their strike/self-isolation.

Thus, issuing a notice to private respondent nos.11 to 14, namely Afroj Anwar, Lalan Kumar Singh, Shailendra Kumar, and Javed Akhtar, the Patna High Court asked the State was directed to forthwith get in touch with the said respondents both on their mobiles and E-Mails.

The Patna High Court on Wednesday (May 12) issued a slew of directions while observing that the government hospitals, medical officers are duty-bound to extend medical assistance and failure on the part of even private hospitals to provide timely medical treatment to a person in need of such treatment results in a violation of his right to life guaranteed under Article 21.

Further, the High Court also sought response of Commissioner of the Districts, Buxar and Kaimur with regard to disposal of the dead bodies found flowing in the river Ganga in view of the second Covid wave.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar directed thus:

"The affidavit of the Commissioner of the District Buxar and Kaimur with regard to disposal of the bodies found flowing in the river Ganga be positively filed within next two working days."

Highlighting that the right to health including access to basic medical infrastructure is a facet of Art. 21 of the Constitution which the State is duty-bound to provide, the Court observed thus:

"Article 21 imposes an obligation on the State to safeguard the right to life of every person. Preservation of human life is thus of paramount importance. The government hospitals run by the State and the medical officers employed therein are duty-bound to extend medical assistance for preserving human life. Failure on the part of a government hospital to provide timely medical treatment to a person in need of such treatment results in a violation of his right to life guaranteed under Article 21."

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