Dr Venugopal thanks countrymen for SC verdict

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New Delhi, May 8: Ousted AIIMS Director Dr P Venugopal today hailed the Supreme Court judgment, quashing AIIMS Amendment Act, 2007, and reinstating him on the top post of the institute. ''I have always served the institute and will continue to do so for the time given to me,'' Dr Venugopal said in a statement.

''I thank all the right-minded people who are concerned with the well-being and advancement of AIIMS in serving the masses of this country,'' he further said. ''I thank all my countrymen, colleagues, AIIMS faculty and resident doctors for being with me in the hour of crisis.'' Earlier after hearing the verdict, Dr Venugopal said the Supreme Court had thwarted the ''game-plan carried out in Parliament.'' ''I am happy that the Supreme Court has upheld the truth,'' Dr Venugopal said in his reaction conveyed to the media through senior resident doctor Anil Sharma. He did not talk to the journalists directly.

The 66-year-old eminent cardiac surgeon was removed from his post in November last year after Parliament passed the AIIMS Amendment Bill.

Dr Venugopal's lawyer Maninder Singh said the Apex Court has sent a clear message to the UPA Government.

''The Supreme Court has sent a signal that 'don't interfere with the functioning of autonomous institutions.' One should not tinker with the intellectuals who have given their lives to build such institutions,'' he said.

UNI

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