New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has upheld an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led-Delhi government order to fix the minimum wage of Rs 20,000 per month for nurses working in city hospitals, including the ones with less than 50 beds.

The government decision had also stated that the failure of compliance of the order would result in a strict action and the defaulter hospital or nursing home would be liable to cancellation of registration.

The judgement was passed by single judge bench Justice C Hari Shankar in a petition referring to a June 25 order by the Delhi government on the salary of nurses working in private hospitals in Delhi.

The petitioner, Association of Healthcare Providers (India), contended that the recommendation could be implemented only by means of legislation. The HC also stated that the recommendations of the expert panel were “unreasoned” as there was no requirement of new guidelines at this point when several legislations were already in force.

On the other hand, the court observed that the cancellation of the registration was an extreme step, fraught with serious and debilitating consequences not only the hospital but also all employees and the patients.

Although it backed the government’s decision of three months’ time for enforcement of the order starting immediately, it gave the defaulting hospitals limited protection from cancellation of registration by directing the DGHS to give the defaulters a hearing before taking action.