M A I N   N E W S

Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 8
AIIMS Director P. Venugopal resumed work a day after his controversial removal was stayed by the Delhi High Court till August 17. The legendary heart surgeon known for his self forgetful services to patients earned a rousing reception from patients besides admirers and sympathisers in the faculty, resident doctors, scientists and medical students.

Much to the relief of patients and care-givers, medical services at AIIMS were back to normal after a three-day long agitation in protest against Dr Venugopal’s removal.

The Emergency and Out Patient Departments that wore a deserted look for 72 hours today witnessed the usual rush and commotion.

Dr Venugopal came to the office at noon for about half an hour and cleared some files. Sources in his office said there were some administrative issues that needed his immediate attention.

Representatives of the Faculty Association of AIIMS (FAIMS), Resident Doctors Association (RDA), Society for Young Scientists (SYS) and AIIMS Students Union had called off their strike on Friday evening after the Delhi High Court stayed Dr P.Venugopal’s removal till the next hearing scheduled for August 17.

FAIMS General Secretary K. K. Handa said Dr Venugopal’s return to work will contribute to normalcy on the campus.

RDA President Binod Patro told TNS: “We have resumed duty and are attending to patients. We regret the inconvenience caused to them.”

Dr Patro said the doctors are optimistic that Dr Venugopal will complete his full tenure and continue in office till August 2008.

Meanwhile, the AIIMS Registrar, Mr V. P. Gupta, today received a letter from the institute Administration informing him that he was being removed with immediate effect and that his duties as Registrar would be looked after by the Assistant Administrative Officer.

The letter reads: “This is to convey that the explanation of Mr V.P. Gupta has been considered by the competent authorities but the same has not been found satisfactory. However, he is required to submit his detailed explanation on the above matter within two weeks from the date of issue of this memorandum. He is also being relinquished with immediate effect till further orders and his duties as Registrar will be looked after by the Assistant Administrative Officer.”

Sources said the Registrar risked the wrath of the Administration when he issued an order on June 30 on release of pay to doctors during the 17-day long anti-quota stir. Sources said Gupta issued the order after its draft was approved by the Dean, Sub-Dean and the Director. The order said that the Director has been pleased to order for adjustment of strike period of 17 days from May 15 to May 31 against the extra hours of duty performed by the resident doctors.” Hence, the pay may be released for these 17 days,” the order said.

The very next day, the Director ordered cancellation of the order and sought an explanation from the Registrar on issuance of these orders by July 3. Sources said the Registrar replied to the notice on July 3 through the office of Dean, Sub-Dean and Director and clarified that he had issued the order as per the directions of the Director. He further said that the draft had been approved by the Dean, Sub Dean and the Director.

Sources said the Dean, Dr R.C. Deka expressed satisfaction with the reply. In a note addressed to the Director on July 3, the Dean said, “The Registrar’s explanation seems reasonable and reliable.”

The Dean further recommended that the subject be closed.





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