Health minister misused parliament, should resign: BJP (Lead)

May 8th, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday demanded the resignation of Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss saying that the Supreme Court verdict reinstating P. Venugopal as director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) established his “dishonesty”. “The court verdict establishes that the health minister’s move to remove P. Venugopal was malafide and dishonest. When the high court gave a verdict in favour of Venugopal and the Supreme Court gave a stay order, he misused parliament to amend the act,” senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters.

While reinstating Venugopal as AIIMS director, the Supreme Court also declared as “malafide” and “unconstitutional” the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and the Post Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh (Amendment) Act, 2007.

It said the act, which limited the tenure of the directors of the two institutes to a maximum of five years or till they reach the retirement age of 65, was enacted with the sole purpose of targeting the eminent cardiologist.

“The Supreme Court order (in this case) is not against making 65 years the age of retirement. It is against the proviso that it should be made with retrospective effect,” Swaraj told reporters.

“This is the defeat of the health minister and of the Manmohan Singh government. We demand the health minister’s resignation or the prime minister should sack him,” she said.

Swaraj recalled that as union minister for health and family welfare in 2003, she had announced the establishment of six AIIMS prototypes in various parts of the country. “We had even started the process of building these institutes but the present government has done nothing. Instead, it has tried to dismantle AIIMS, an institution of national importance,” she said.

Swaraj clarified that there was no conflict between the executive and the judiciary. “The judiciary has the right to interpret the acts passed by parliament,” she said.

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