The Supreme Court Monday asked the central government for its response to the demand by a Bhopal hospital’s staff for wage hike and parity with employees of other federal government hospitals.
Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre’s workers are demanding pay scales as per the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations for the central government employees.
The apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justice Swatanter Kumar said: “An important aspect has been brought to our notice that the staff of the hospital had demanded pay scales of the Sixth Pay Commission and the government had agreed in principle.”
In another direction, the court asked the Madhya Pradesh government to file its response on the recommendations of a court-appointed monitoring committee.
The panel was set up for monitoring the treatment of victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy in state hospitals other than BMHRC.
The Madhya Pradesh government’s senior counsel Vijay Hansaria was rebuked by the court when he said: “We don’t have the recommendations given by the monitoring committee.”
“You can collect it from the court registry. It is not in a sealed cover. Go to registry and get it,” the court said.
As petitioner Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan handed over the copy of the panel’s eight recommendations to senior counsel, the court told him that “this will not be an excuse for adjournment”.
The recommendations seek the empowerment of the monitoring committee so that it could take up the matter on the basis of complaints made by individual gas victims or representatives of the organisations of gas victims against officials of the department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation.
The recommendations also include vesting in the committee powers to direct the department concerned of the government to ensure facilities of well-equipped office space along with the required manpower.
The panel also suggested paying honorarium to its members.
The recommendations seek power for the panel to engage experts to assess the quality of healthcare or the implementation of its recommendations.
The case would be heard next Jan 9, 2012.