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Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative

The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).
The next hearing of the case is scheduled for August 7.
Earlier, government pleader and senior advocate Manisha Lavkumar Shah, appearing on behalf of the State government requested the court that, since the matter pertained to Covid-related issues, it may be heard along with other Public Interest Litigations which were being heard by the division bench comprising of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala. She added, the government would approach the Chief Justice in this regard.
Advocate Anand Yagnik, appearing for the MBBS students, objected to this and said that they might face the prosecution under the Disaster Management Act if the matter was not heard immediately. He added, it the matter was postponed for hearing by the division bench, the students would lose a chance to file an intra-court appeal, hence there was urgency in the matter.
A show cause notice dated July 29, 2020, was issued to the third year final MBBS Part-I and Part-II students for refusing to join work as corona sahayaks under the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Ordinance and Regulations, 2020 as well as the Disaster Management Act, 2005, asking them why appropriate proceedings should not be initiated against them for committing breach/willful defiance of the instructions issued by the authorities.
According to the students they had wasted precious four months between March 2020 and July 2020 and were deprived of clinical and theoretical education since the colleges were closed down due to the lockdown. They argue, out of 22 medical colleges in Gujarat, the order for compulsory, and not voluntary, duty of working as Corona Sahayaks has been issued with regard students of only two medical colleges, both run by AMC.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Let us hope better sense prevails and duty is made voluntary

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