Court's nod sought to sack AIIMS chief Venugopal
Feb 5, 2007 - 8:36:03 PM

New Delhi, Feb 5 - The central government Monday sought revocation of the Delhi High Court's single-bench order of Nov 2006, restraining it from initiating any action against All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director and eminent cardiologist P Venugopal.

Faulting the single-bench order, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told a division bench of Justice Swatanter Kumar and H.R. Malhotra that Justice Anil Kumar had erred in restraining AIIMS governing body from taking any action against Venugopal.

Seeking revocation of the Nov 2006 order, Subraminaum said the governing body was supreme in taking any decision about its employees and it needed to convene a meeting to discuss the dismissal of its Director P Venugopal, who is facing charges of financial mismanagement.

Subramanium said Venugopal also faces allegations of maladministration, besides having a 'parochial attitude' and tacitly supporting anti-reservation stir by AIIMS students and resident doctors.

Justice Kumar had restrained AIIMS from sacking its chief till disposal of his petition, challenging the government's July 2006 order dismissing him.

Subramainum contended that the decision to sack Venugopal was taken by AIIMS' president and Health Minister Ambumani Ramdoss, supported by a majority of the 17 members of the AIIMS governing body.

Subsequently, a public suite had been filed in the court seeking direction for Venugopal's removal as he continued to hold the post of AIIMS director and head of the department of cardio-thorasic surgery beyond the age of 62.

Senior counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for the suite had argued that the Indian Government and AIIMS had illegally appointed Venugopal to the dual post for five years.

Venugopal, who is now 64-year-old, should have been superannuated two years back, he added.

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