Right to healthcare to prevail over right to voluntary retirement: Supreme Court

Article 47 of the Constitution says that it is the duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.

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The Supreme Court has ruled that the larger public interest of health and medical care would prevail over the right to voluntary retirement by the doctors as medical services are part and parcel of right to life itself.

Right to retire as a fundamental right can’t be supreme then the right to life, said the bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer in their judgment pronounced on Tuesday.

“When services are required, denial of voluntary retirement is permissible under the rules applicable in the State of Uttar Pradesh”, the ccourt said.

The right to retire has to be “interpreted with the rights of the State government… As it is obligatory upon the state government to make an endeavour under Article 47 (of the Constitution) to look after the provisions for the health and nutrition of the people,” said Justice Mishra.

Article 47 of the Constitution says that it is the duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.

Referring to Article 51A, the court said that it is the fundamental duty of of every citizen to have compassion and humanism for living creatures and it can’t be done by depriving the poorest of the poor essential medical services and to leave them at the mercy of the doctors, the judgement said.

The court said this while reversing the November 11, 2017 judgement of the Allahabad High Court by which it had allowed the plea for voluntary retirement by the doctors and directed that they may be treated as from government service from November 30, 2017 and December 31, 2017.

The issue before the top court was whether under Rule 56 of the Uttar Pradesh Fundamental Rules, an employee has an “unfettered right to seek voluntary retirement by serving a three-month notice to the State government.”

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