Orissa HC asks striking nurses why ESMA will not be imposed



Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday issued a notice to All Odisha Contractual Nurses Association to explain why ESMA would not be applicable to the striking nurses.

The striking contractual nurses rejected the state government's offer to regularise those who completed six years in job and continued the strike which entered the ninth day today causing hardship to patients in all the three state-run medical colleges and many other hospitals.

A division bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice SK Mishra, admitting a PIL filed in this respect, asked the High Court registry to rush an order of the High Court to the Association president by a special messenger so that the respondent replies to the notice soon.

The Bench posted the matter for full and final hearing to Wednesday. Social organisation Legal Support and Social Action (Lessa) had filed the PIL last week urging the HC to declare the strike by nurses as illegal and urged it to step in and restore normalcy in government hospitals. The Bench also asked Odisha government to file details about steps taken by it in restoring normalcy in hospitals and end the strike by contractual nurses. "Provide details about what disciplinary actions had been taken against the striking nurses and their leaders," the Bench told the state government.

Meanwhile, State Health Minister Prasanna Acharya told reporters in Bhubaneswar that the service of contractual nurses, who have completed six years in job, would be regularised.

However, the Association refused to call off the strike and demanded the services of contractual nurses with three years in job should be regularised.

"While services of contractual nurses are regularised after three years in other states, we don't understand why Odisha government made it six years," Association secretary Shivani Das said.

PTI