The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to do needful to ensure that salaries of doctors health workers involved in COVID-19 fight are paid in time.

A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked Centre to ensure that by August 10 the doctors and healthcare workers are paid their salaries.
The court’s direction came after the Centre informed the court that four states — Punjab, Maharashtra, Tripura and Karnataka — have not made timely payments to frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers and doctors despite its direction.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Centre told the Bench that though it had issued directions, four states have not implemented same.

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The Bench said “Centre is not powerless” to ensure that states obeyed its directive.

“You (Centre) are not helpless. You have to see to it that your order is implemented. You got power under the Disaster Management Act. You can take steps also,” the Court said.

During the hearing counsel appearing for doctors, health workers complained to the top court that quarantine period after duty is being cut as leave. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that quarantine cannot be taken as leave. The Bench asked Mehta to give clarification on the issue.

The Court was hearing a plea filed by Dr Arushi Jain who was seeking timely payment of salaries to the frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers and doctors.

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