NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP Government on Tuesday invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the 1,500 striking doctors belonging to the state and Central government hospitals, as the healthcare services continued to be paralysed in the national capital for the second consecutive day.
“We invoked the ESMA against resident doctors of government hospitals, who are continuing their strike even after we accepted their all 19 demands,” said Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain.
The AAP Government had given the doctors time till 11 am on Tuesday to get back to work.
After they did not turn up for duty, the government wrote to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, requesting him to invoke the ESMA as the patients were at the receiving end. Jung then sought suggestions from the Delhi Police and issued the order to invoke the ESMA.
Under the Act, the police has power to make arrests without any warrant. “Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, (5 of 1898 ), any police officer may arrest without warrant any person who is reasonably suspected of having committed any offence under this Act,” the order stated.