Agartala/New Delhi, August 1 (IANS): The BJP-led Tripura government would file an affidavit before the Supreme Court as it feels the Solicitor General of the Central government has wrongly told the apex court that the state government did not pay salaries to the doctors and other health workers on time.
An official release of the Tripura government said on Saturday that with reference to a writ petition, the Solicitor General of the Central government told the Supreme Court that five states -- Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tripura and Karnataka -- have not paid salaries to the doctors and health workers on time to their full satisfaction.
"The Tripura government has been paying full salary to the health workers, including doctors, on due date every month. It is further asserted that not only health workers, but full salaries of all employees of the state government have been paid on due date without any deduction," the release said.
It said the Solicitor General has stated that for doctors and health workers who are quarantined, the quarantine period is treated as on leave.
"It is clarified that all health workers and doctors who are quarantined (in Tripura), whether in an institution or at home, as per requirements of their duty, their period of quarantine is treated as on duty. Further, full cost of their food, lodging and medical attention during the period of institutional quarantine is being paid by the government," the official release said.
A Supreme Court bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan on Friday told the Centre through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to issue directions to the five states for releasing the salaries of doctors and health workers on time.
"If the states are not conforming to the directions and orders of the Central government, you are not helpless. You have to make sure that your order is executed. You have that power under the Disaster Management Act," the three-judge bench told the Solicitor General.
Mehta said that after the top court's directions on June 17, appropriate orders were issued on June 18 to all the states with regard to timely payment of salaries to healthcare workers.
The Solicitor General reportedly submitted that five states -- Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tripura and Karnataka -- did not pay salaries to the full satisfaction of the doctors and healthcare workers engaged in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Centre's counsel said that suitable steps in this regard shall be taken by the government to ensure that salaries of doctors and health workers are released on time to their full satisfaction.
He sought a week's time to apprise the Supreme Court about the steps taken in this regard, which was granted by the apex court.
The observations were made by the top court bench during the hearing of a writ petition seeking timely payment of salaries to frontline Covid-19 warriors and doctors. The Centre had informed the top court that it has written to the states, but some of them have not replied.