Tri[ura CM Biplab Deb overseeing a COVID-19 drill in Agartala. Image: Northeast Now
Tripura CM Biplab Deb overseeing a COVID-19 drill in Agartala. (File image)

Tripura, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Delhi are yet to follow directives on timely payment of salaries to healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Friday.

As per reports, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre said that necessary orders were issued on June 18 to all the states, with regard to payment of salaries to healthcare workers in accordance with the directives of the Supreme Court on June 17.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah told the Centre that it cannot be ‘helpless’ in implementing directions and should ensure that the healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19 get their dues in time.

“If the states are not complying with the directions and orders of the Central government, you are not helpless,” the bench said.

“You have to ensure that your order is implemented. You have got the power under the Disaster Management Act. You can take steps also,” it added.

On June 17, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to issue orders in 24-hours to all states and Union Territories for payment of salaries to doctors and healthcare workers as also for providing suitable quarantine facilities for those who are directly engaged in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, the top court also asked the Solicitor General to look into an application filed by United Resident Doctors Association (URDA) that salaries of doctors are being deducted for the period of compulsory quarantine treating it as leave period.

Mehta assured the petitioner that the quarantine period of healthcare workers cannot be treated as leave and that the government shall look into it.

The Supreme Court posted the matter for further hearing on August 10.

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