Health ministry distances itself from AIIMS stand now
The counsel insisted the ministry would file an affidavit independently of AIIMS. While granting two weeks’ time for filing of affidavit by the health ministry, the court summoned the minutes of controversial board meeting. Observers said the stand of the ministry was a marked departure from the earlier hearing where it had gone along with AIIMS. Gupta in his presentation before the CAT has sought relief for being victimised by AIIMS director MC Mishra and the then health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was also ex-officio chairman of AIIMS.
It’s pertinent to mention here that Dr Gupta has filed a case before the principal CAT bench at New Delhi regarding the promotion of another member of the faculty of forensic medicine department. Hearing the matter on Friday, a bench headed by AK Bhardwaj directed the health ministry and AIIMS to file their responses in connection with the case. It also sought the minutes of AIIMS general body meeting held on 12 May, where a decision to elevate Dr OP Murthy as head of the AIIMS forensic department was taken. Advocate Naushad Ahmad Khan, who appeared on behalf of the ministry, told the tribunal the ministry has sought records pertaining to the case from AIIMS and it needs two weeks to file a reply. AIIMS counsel Mehmood Pracha said, ‘AIIMS cannot take any disciplinary action against him (Gupta) as the matter is pending in the court.’ The tribunal set 30 July as the next date of hearing.