Legal headaches for Venugopal as he resumes office (Second Lead)

May 9th, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) His second day back in office proved a legal headache for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director P. Venugopal. The first order he passed Friday, the day after he was reinstated in office by the Supreme Court, was to postpone the interviews of senior resident doctors, scheduled to start Saturday, after a contempt notice was issued by the Delhi High Court to the AIIMS on the matter.

The second was a notice issued to Venugopal, again by the Delhi High Court, on a petition by the institute’s former public relations officer asking for an independent enquiry against the cardiac surgeon for allegedly withholding his personal belongings, including passport and cheque-books.

Issuing the notice to Venugopal, Justice Anil Kumar sought his reply by Aug 5 on the petition filed by former PRO Bijay Kumar Dash, through his counsel Barun Sinha.

Dash sought an enquiry against the hospital management, when Venugopal was the head, for illegally seizing all his belongings in February 2007.

The Delhi High Court also issued a contempt notice to the AIIMS Friday for not abiding by its earlier order on appointment of senior doctors.

Justice Anil Sharma, while issuing notice for May 29, pulled up the AIIMS administration for not maintaining status quo on the appointment of doctors, as it had ordered earlier.

The senior resident doctors, the petitioners, had moved the court after a notice was issued for conducting interviews May 10-12, which they maintained was neither permissible nor legally correct.

The court in its earlier order had prohibited AIIMS from conducting any interviews or tests for the appointment of senior resident doctors.

After Venugopal passed the order postponing the interviews, AIIMS issued a statement in the evening: “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.

The doctors had earlier moved the court seeking regularisation of their services. The AIIMS administration had selected these doctors in 2007 under the Central Government Residency Scheme in the general as well reserved categories but later refused to issue appointment letters to them on the ground that reservation in appointments was not permitted under the scheme.

The administration had, however, given ad hoc appointments to them and was extending these periodically. The doctors wanted the administration to regularise their services and had moved the court.

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