New Delhi, Dec 3: The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre questioning the reason for removing Dr. P Venugopal from the post of AIIMS Director.
The apex court has asked the government to reply within two weeks and has asked all the parties to file counter and rejoinder affidavits during the same period.
The matter has been scheduled for next hearing in January 2008.
Venugopal had filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Parliament's decision to fix 65 years as the retirement age for the post of AIIMS director.
Venugopal has alleged that the AIIMS (Amendment) Bill, 2007, passed by Parliament with retrospective effect was aimed deliberately to remove him from service.
The Bill fixes 65 year as the retirement age of the director of the AIIMS and the Chandigarh-based Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
The legislative measure stipulates that "the director shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains 65 years of age."
The legislation follows a Delhi High Court order that the retirement age of 62 for teaching faculty and 60 for non-teaching faculty did not apply in the case of director.
Meanwhile, as the controversial Bill received Presidential assent, Venugopal was removed from the post.
Dr Tirath Das Dogra has been appointed acting Director of the premier institute.
Earlier, the Parliament had passed the measure amidst stiff opposition from the BJP and the AIADMK.
The Bill was opposed by these parties on the ground that the government was targeting the 66-year-old eminent cardiac surgeon, who has a running battle with Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.
The Bill was introduced in the Parliament in August 2007.