Venugopal passes first order on resuming AIIMS charge(Lead)

May 9th, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) A day after he resumed charge of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) upon the Supreme Court reinstating him, P. Venugopal Friday passed his first order - postponing the interviews of senior resident doctors, scheduled to start Saturday. The eminent cardiologist, who was reinstated as director almost six months after his ouster through a parliamentary act, passed the order as soon as the Supreme Court’s full judgment came on the court’s website Friday evening.

An AIIMS statement issued Friday said: “Interviews for senior resident doctors scheduled to be held on 10.5,2008 to 12.05.2008 are postponed.”

“Inconvenience regretted. New dates will be announced in due course of time,” the AIIMs press relations office added.

Venugopal, 66, took charge Thursday hours after the apex court order, which struck down as “malafide and unconstitutional” the central government law fixing with retrospective effect the retirement age of the AIIMS director at 65. The law only targeted Venugopal, the apex court held.

The earlier dates for senior resident doctors’ interviews were scheduled by T.D. Dogra, the assistant director appointed by Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss. “The new director would obviously like to take his own decision,” an AIIMS faculty member told IANS.

Ramadoss and Venugopal, who was to retire July 2, 2008, have been at loggerheads for the last few years.

The tussle escalated during the anti-quota protests in 2006 with Venugopal reportedly helping students in their stir against 27 percent reservation for other backward classes (OBC) students in institutes of higher learning.

After the AIIMS Act got presidential assent in November 2007, the health minister sacked Venugopal as AIIMS director. Ramadoss then appointed Dogra as the assistant director and started the procedure to look for a new director.

AIIMS Deputy Director Administration Shailesh Kumar Yadav said: “We have seen the judgement copy on the apex court site. Venugopal has been reinstated by the Supreme Court and he has taken charge. As the director, he can postpone interviews.”

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