The Calcutta High Court on Friday gave the West Bengal government seven days to respond to a public interest litigation or PIL on the doctors' strike that has crippled medical services in the state.
Asking the state government what steps it had taken to end the impasse, the court said that the administration will have to put an end to the protest and find a solution.
Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan also reminded the striking doctors of the ''hippocratic oath'' they take to ensure the welfare of all patients, news agency PTI reported.
The bench has fixed June 21 for further hearing of the petition.
A PIL, meanwhile, has also been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking its directions for deployment of security personnel at government hospitals and to formulate guidelines.
The junior doctors' strike to protest an assault on an intern at Kolkata's NRS Medical College and Hospital has snowballed into a full-blown political controversy, with the BJP blaming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the strikes.
"Instead of taking action against the attackers, she (Mamata Banerjee) gave the doctors an ultimatum, warned and threatened them because of which doctors of West Bengal and across the country are angry," Minister Harsh Vardhan said. "If one chief minister shows sensitivity and changes her behaviour, it will end the suffering of patients across the country," he added.
During a visit to a state-run hospital in Kolkata, Ms Banerjee had warned doctors who won't return to work. "They are outsiders. The government will not support them in any way," she said. "I condemn doctors who have gone on strike. Policemen die in line of duty but the police don't go on a strike," she added.
The protest has received support from all across the country. The Indian Medical Association (IMA), the country's leading doctors' body, has called a nationwide strike on Monday. It will also ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to bring out a central law against such violence.
The strike has also affected medical services in Delhi. The Delhi Medical Association called for a statewide medical shutdown today. In the national capital, resident doctors at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung Hospital stayed away from work. "Emergency services will function normally as the resident doctors will purportedly continue to work," AIIMS medical superintendent DK Sharma said in a statement today.
With inputs from agencies
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