Act seeking to retire AIIMS Director at 65 challenged in SC

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New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) The All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (Amendment) Act 2007 has been challenged in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it seeks to interfere with the basic service conditions of AIIMS Director Dr P Venugopal.

The Bill, which has been passed by both the houses of Parliament, seeks to fix the age of retirement of the AIIMS Director at 65, and is enforceable with retrospective effect. Under this Act, Dr Venugopal, who is 66, will have to quit.

The Act also seeks to fix the maximum tenure of a director of AIIMS at 5 years, whichever is earlier.

Two writ petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution have been filed by the Director and Faculty Association of AIIMS.

The validity of the Act has also been challenged on the grounds that it is discriminatory and violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India and deserves to be struck down as ultra vires of the Constitution.

According to the petitioners, the sole aim of the Act is to oust Dr Venugopal. Union Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss and the AIIMS Director have been at loggerheads and Dr Ramadoss has been sparing no efforts in throwing out Dr Venugopal.

The petitioners have also prayed to the court to restrain the respondents who include Dr A Ramadoss and the Secretary, Ministry of Health&Family Welfare from interfering directly or indirectly in the affairs of All India Institute of Medical Sciences and also direct the respondents to produce the entire record pertaining to the Act and quash the same.

Junior doctors of AIIMS have gone on strike today against the Act and in support of the AIIMS Director.

Only emergency services are maintained, while OPDs are closed.

The petitions are likely to come up for hearing next week.

UNI

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