Govt offers to withdraw Venugopalís sack order
New Delhi, July 25
In a volte face, the government today offered to withdraw the order for the removal of the AIIMS Director, Dr P. Venugopal, before the Delhi High Court which had declined to entertain its appeal against the single-judge Bench order granting interim stay on the termination of his service.

Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam gave a commitment to a Division Bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain with regard to rescinding of the order of July 5 for the removal of Dr Venugopal.

But the government said it would raise the charges against him in the case before the single-judge Bench.

The government preferred to withdraw the appeal after Mr Justice Jain questioned the filing of it against the interim order of the single-judge as it was not a final verdict. 

Mr Subramaniam told the court that the government would supply the copy of charges to Dr Venugopal as well as the members of the AIIMS Governing Board, which had taken a decision with 12- three majority for his removal on July 5.

He said everything in the case would be done in a fair manner.

Advantage Venugopal: Delhi HC stays dismissal

July 07, 2006
NEW DELHI: Bringing the three-day AIIMS high drama to a close for now, the Delhi High Court has stayed the dismissal of AIIMS director P Venugopal. 

The court has also medical institute's governing body to explain within two weeks why the director was asked to go. The AIIMS governing body, headed by Union Health Minister A Ramadoss, had sacked Dr Venugopal on Wednesday. On Thursday, the leading cardiac surgeon moved the High Court against the order. 

As news of the high court decision became known, striking doctors indicated that they would go back to work. AIIMS doctors, faculty and medical students had been strike ever since the Venugopal was given the marching orders

Decision to sack AIIMS director not unanimous

NEW DELHI: The real reason for sacking Dr P Venugopal is said to be a sharp difference between health minister A Ramadoss and the director over Mandal II. 

While the minister was determined to bring in reservations in AIIMS, the director was said to be quietly backing the doctors agitating against the proposed quotas. For the record, Ramadoss told the media that he had nothing personal against Venugopal. 

Once the resolution was passed by the AIIMS body, Venugopal was told that his services were no longer required from immediate effect and that he would be relieved of his duties with three months salary and allowances. 

Emerging from the meeting, V K Malhotra said the decision to sack Dr Venugopal was not unanimous. "It's a black day," he said. 

Malhotra claimed the UPA government was "destroying all autonomous institutions one by one. This is a draconian decision and we condemn it. This is tremendous humiliation of a person of Venugopal's repute, who has earlier been decorated by the government with its highest honours. 

The dissent by only three members were recorded. Nearly everybody in the governing body protested but Ramadoss went ahead with the dismissal

The institute's senior-most doctor would now be asked to be the acting director until a new director is appointed. The resolution will now be placed in front of the cabinet committee on appointments. 

As word of Venugopal's sack spread, members of the AIIMS faculty went on a 24-hour flash strike while demanding his reinstatement. General secretary of the Faculty Association K K Handa said: "We condemn the interference in the institution's autonomy. 

We demand an apology from the minister." The president-elect of the Indian Medical Association Sanjeev Malik termed Venugopal's sack as a "slap on the face of the medical profession". He also sought President Kalam and the PM's intervention. 

AIIMS faculty members also held a candle-light vigil on the campus on Wednesday night. Resident doctors and students of University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS), Maulana Azad Medical College and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital have also decided to observe a one-day token strike on Thursday. 

Ramadoss's dismissal of Venugopal, with whom the minister is known to have had differences, came as a surprise at the meeting as the director's sack was not a part of the 15-point agenda


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