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Medicos call off strike

Special Correspondent

Junior doctors give undertaking to Andhra Pradesh High Court

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Junior Doctors Association (APJUDA) called off its six-day-old strike on Thursday after giving an undertaking to this effect to the High Court.

The medicos' decision came when a Division Bench, comprising the Acting Chief Justice, Bilal Nazki, and Justice G. Chandraiah, said it would hear on Monday the writ petition to be filed by them on Friday challenging the Government's action in not implementing the Jeevan Reddy Committee's report. The Bench said the junior doctors must give an undertaking that after calling off the strike they would not resort to any pressure tactics in the name of seeking interim orders.

The medicos launched the strike on July 9, two days before the Government filed its counter. The court took a serious view of their action and ordered the Government to file a contempt case against junior doctors.

Mr. Bojja Tarakam, counsel for junior doctors, told reporters that a fresh petition would be filed on Friday, urging the court to issue suitable direction to stop admissions in five new medical colleges.

The petition would also seek a direction to fill the 25 per cent management quota in accordance with the Supreme Court verdict or by conducting an entrance examination. The contempt proceedings against the APJUDA leaders were still pending, he added.

The APJUDA president, B. R. Suresh Babu, told The Hindu that junior doctors were pleased with the direction.

"All the 11,000 junior doctors will rejoin duties on Friday morning. We are hopeful that the court will render justice to our demands," he added.

Restraint

Legal correspondent adds:

The Bench did not appreciate the attitude of the doctors who wanted the court to adjudicate the issues raised by them. It repeatedly said that the court gave them a long rope and never intended to harm their future and career. The court said it was restraining itself from passing orders though the agitating doctors were going back on their word and creating such a situation. The Bench said that it was interested that the poor patient should not be left in the lurch.

Initially, the Bench said the doctors must first file a writ petition, which would be taken up after two-weeks for adjudication and during this period they should attend duties. After much persuasion, the Bench said it was willing to hear the writ petition being filed by the doctors.

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