New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre on a petition filed by sacked All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director, Dr P Venugopal challenging the controversial law fixing 65 years as the superannuation age for the post of Institutes's Director.
The apex court termed as unfortunate, the removal of AIIMS Director Dr P Venugopal from his post and granted two weeks time to the parties to file counter and rejoinder affidavits and posted the matter for mid-January next year.
Venugopal was removed from his post last week, after Parliament passed a Bill fixing the retirement age of AIIMS Directors at 65. The apex court has asked the Centre to reply to a petition filed by Venugopal challenging the Bill within two weeks.
Venugopal had challenged the Bill in court saying it was introduced by the Government specifically with the intention of removing him from the post.
Venugopal and Health Minister, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss have had several public spats in the past.
The apex court has also ordered that AIIMS Forensic Department Head, Dr T D Dogra should not be named as the next Director without it's consent, though Dr Dogra will continue as acting Director till the next date of hearing.
A Bench comprising Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice Dalbir Bhandari told Public Prosecutor Fali S Nariman, "Why has such a respectful person been humiliated? What is the necessity of this amendment to the Bill? It's an act of law, but still it's very unfortunate."
The Bench also made it clear that on the facts of the case the apex court was with Dr Venugopal and asked the Government: "Why are you humiliating a senior and renowned doctor like Venugopal?"