A city-based lawyer on Wednesday wrote a letter petition to Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana seeking preponement of the hearing in matters related to the economic reservation in NEET-PG course in the apex court and initiate day to day hearing.
Highlighting the ongoing protests of the resident doctors for the last several days led by the Federation of Resident Doctors Association of India (FORDA) and threat for mass resignation, the letter petition by Adv Vineet Jindal stated that the mass protest has resulted because the Union Health Ministry has not taken any concrete steps to expedite NEET-PG counselling.
The plea also sought directions to the Centre to form a committee to address the issues related to doctors concerned and the Delhi Police Commissioner to initiate an enquiry and take stern action on culprits into the incident of physical assault on the protesting doctors by the cops.
“With doctors as our frontline warriors against this war with Covid, it is imperative to address the issues of resident doctors at the earliest to resolve their demands and to call off the strike as soon as possible,” Jindal pointed out.
“Already, the second wave of Covid-19 has left an indelible impact on lives of people due to the massive death toll, and now we are again facing a crisis of the third wave and are in extreme need of best health care services owing to the current situation of the outbreak of omicron virus,” he added.
Abiding by the constitution of India under Article 19 and 21, the responsibility of securing the life and liberty of the protesting doctors and every citizen of this country, lies in the hand of the apex court, the plea read said.
Recently, the protest against delayed NEET PG counselling has been supported by doctors from five states -Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.
The doctors have been striking work over delays in NEET-2021 PG counselling, which is now pending the outcome of a batch of petitions over economic reservations, being heard in the Supreme Court will take up on January 6, 2022 by the apex court.
The strike started with doctors boycotting work in out-patient clinics, which was later escalated to boycotting of all routine work such as care of admitted patients and routine surgeries when they didn’t receive any assurances from the Union health minister.
Initially, the delay of NEET-2021 PG examinations was due to the second wave of Covid-19 and it was further delayed due to the petitions filed and pending for hearing before this court over reservation issue, it said.
The FORDA has pointed out the “acute shortage” of resident doctors across the country as the counselling of NEET-PG 2021 batch has already been delayed by eight months. On December 9, the agitation was suspended by the resident doctors called by the FORDA for a week following the health ministry’s assurance to expedite court hearing and subsequently fast-track the counselling process.
However, FORDA wrote to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, informing him that it was resuming the strike from December 17, the plea added.