Mon, 03 Dec 2007 10:22:03 GMT
New Delhi, Dec 3 - The Supreme Court Monday refused to restore ousted AIIMS director P.Venugopal, saying the parliamentary law fixing retirement age at 65 for the director of the medical institute couldn't be suspended.
A bench of Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice Dalveer Bhandari couldn't provide legal reprieve to the former head of the institute despite saying 'We are with Dr. Venugopal on the facts of the case'.'It (the bench) is finding it difficult to suspend the law,' they added.
Venugopal had challenged the legality of AIIMS amendment bill, which President Pratibha Patil approved Friday. The health ministry immediately removed Venugopal as director and appointed T.D. Dogra in his place.
The law - All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and Post Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh (Amendment) Act, 2007 - seeks to limit the tenure of the directors of the two institutes to a maximum of five years or till they reach the retirement age of 65, whichever is earlier.
The new law was viewed as a move by Health Minister A. Ramadoss to remove Venugopal, with whom he has been involved in a bitter turf war. Venugopal, who has been associated with AIIMS for 42 years, is over 66 years of age.
According to the provisions of the original law passed in 1956, AIIMS directors are appointed for a fixed tenure of five years, irrespective of their age. Venugopal was named director in July 2003 at the age of 62 and was due to retire in July 2008 at the age of 67.
Also read the News reported in http://www.indianpad.com
SC to govt: why are you humiliating Venugopal?
CENTRE ON BACKFOOOT: Venugopal was removed from his post after Parliament passed a Bill fixing retirement age of AIIMS Directors
The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre on a petition filed by sacked All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director, Dr P Venugopal challenging the controversial law fixing 65 years as the superannuation age for the post of Institutes’s Director.
The apex court termed as unfortunate, the removal of AIIMS Director Dr P Venugopal from his post and granted two weeks time to the parties to file counter and rejoinder affidavits and posted the matter for mid-January next year.
Venugopal was removed from his post last week, after Parliament passed a Bill fixing the retirement age of AIIMS Directors at 65. The apex court has asked the Centre to reply to a petition filed by Venugopal challenging the Bill within two weeks.
Venugopal had challenged the Bill in court saying it was introduced by the Government specifically with the intention of removing him from the post.
Venugopal and Health Minister, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss have had several public spats in the past.
The apex court has also ordered that AIIMS Forensic Department Head, Dr T D Dogra should not be named as the next Director without it’s consent, though Dr Dogra will continue as acting Director till the next date of hearing.
A Bench comprising Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice Dalbir Bhandari told Public Prosecutor Fali S Nariman, “Why has such a respectful person been humiliated? What is the necessity of this amendment to the Bill? It’s an act of law, but still it’s very unfortunate.”
The Bench also made it clear that on the facts of the case the apex court was with Dr Venugopal and asked the Government: “Why are you humiliating a senior and renowned doctor like Venugopal?”