Supreme Court asks Centre Government to ensure timely payments of frontline health workers.

The central government asked the Supreme Court on Friday that four states have not paid salaries to health workers engaged in the fight against Kovid-19 in time. These states are Punjab, Maharashtra, Tripura and Karnataka. The center said this happened despite a directive from the apex court.

The court then asked the center to ensure that the salaries of these personnel are paid on time. A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and Mr Shah told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, “If the states are not following the directions and orders of the central government, you are not helpless. You have to make sure that your order is in force. You have got power under the Disaster Management Act. You can also take steps.”

The Supreme Court had issued strict instructions in June for non-payment of dues to doctors and nurses in time. The directive was given on a doctor’s plea which alleged that medical professionals are not being paid in many areas and if they become infected, they are not being provided with any facility to isolate themselves which is a major threat to their families. 

The center then announced salaries to doctors and nurses engaged in the fight against Covid-19 under the Disaster Management Act (DMA). The order was issued by the Union Health ministry. The apex court had taken serious note of non-payment of salaries and lack of proper accommodation to doctors.

The court said, “You cannot make the soldiers unhappy in the battle. The court had also said that the courts should not be involved in the issue of non-payment of salaries to health workers and the government should settle the issue.”