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Centre may penalise 4 states under Disaster Management Act for not paying COVID-19 warriors on time

The Centre said that Punjab, Maharashtra, Tripura, and Karnataka failed to pay COVID-19 warrior on time despite a direction from the Supreme Court.

July 31, 2020 / 03:55 PM IST
Representational picture

Representational picture

The Centre informed the Supreme Court on July 31 that four states -- Punjab, Maharashtra, Tripura, and Karnataka -- have not paid timely salaries to healthcare workers on COVID-19 duty despite a direction from the apex court, Hindustan Times reported.

Back in June, the apex court had criminalised non-payment of dues to doctors and nurses on time after a doctor had alleged that several medicos were not being paid. The doctor’s petition also mentioned that healthcare workers and doctors were not being provided facilities to isolate themselves to ensure they do not end up jeopardising the health of their family members.

Following this, the Union Health Ministry had declared that withholding salaries of doctors and nurses on COVID-19 duty would be treated as an offence under the Disaster Management Act (DMA).

Advising the Centre on how to ensure the order is implemented, the SC bench of justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah said: “If the states are not complying with the directions and orders of the Central government, you are not helpless. You have to ensure that your order is implemented. You have got the power under the Disaster Management Act. You can take steps also.”

The SC bench then said that the courts should not be involved in such matters in the future and the government should be able to settle the issue of non-payment of salary on its own.

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first published: Jul 31, 2020 03:55 pm