The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday directed that in the event the Employees' Union of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh proceeds on strike/hunger strike, they may be immediately arrested and sent in civil imprisonment.
The respondent Union is an association of the contract workers working with the PGI, the grievance of the members being of equal pay for equal work and for regularization of their service. On August 27 last year, the Court had restrained the Union members from proceeding on strike or disrupting/disturbing the functioning of any of the activities of the institute/hospital in any manner, on being informed that all major and minor surgeries had to be postponed on account of the ongoing strike. The Hospital had urged that this is a very serious matter as it directly affects the public health and the closure of the emergency services of the institute/hospital may result in a major tragedy. It was argued that the members of respondent Union are not only protesting but are also stopping the other willing workers in performing their duties which is further seriously hampering the running of the institute/hospital.
Again vide order dated 06.03.2020, the aforesaid order dated 27.08.2019 has been reinforced by observing that the same would apply mutatis mutandis to the respondents as well as the authorities.
On Tuesday, the bench was informed that now the respondents, in order to bye-pass and violate the aforesaid orders, have formed a new union i.e. Ministerial and Secretarial Employees Union, PGIMER, Chandigarh and have started threatening the petitioner-PGIMER as well as authorities of U.T., Chandigarh for going on hunger strike.
Acting on the contempt plea, the Single Judge required that in the meantime, the Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate, Chandigarh and Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh shall take necessary preventive steps to ensure that there is no violation of the aforesaid orders passed by this Court.
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