The Punjab & Haryana High Court on Wednesday allowed Dr Amitava Chakravarti to continue as head of the pharmacology department at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research. At the same time the court ordered he would not take any decision relating to his two colleagues, Dr Sameer Malhotra and Dr Nusrat Shafiq, with whom he reportedly had run-ins in the past, unless approved by a committee that it set up to monitor the department’s functioning.
The ruling came following a petition filed by PGI challenging the Central Administrative Tribunal’s order setting aside the institute’s decision to remove Chakravarti as head of the department. The committee members –Dr Arvind Rajwanshi of the PGI’s cytology department, Dr Pratibha Dutta Singhi of paediatrics and Dr Jagat Ram of ophthalmology – have been asked to monitor academic and administrative activities at the pharmacology department and “create such a milieu where differences between... (Chakravarti and his colleagues) are minimised and appropriately bridged in due course of time.”
Chakravarti told the court he would withdraw a defamation case he had filed against the PGI director and one of his colleagues.
“The members of the committee shall be competent to decide the future course of action, if need be, and it shall be well within their right to recommend the competent authority (PGI director) to supersede, overrule or disagree with any administrative or academic decision taken by (Chakravarti) in the interests of the institution,” the court said while asking the committee members to submit a report on the pharmacology department’s functioning along with their suggestions by March 20 to the high court.
Over a year ago Shafiq lodged a complaint against Chakravarti accusing him of misbehaviour following which a fact finding committee set up by PGI held him guilty. It recorded that “he is not a fit person to be the head of the department…” and recommended that “…his continuation as the head would seriously harm the development of the department as well as that of the faculty and students...”
Subsequently Chakravarti was removed as department head, a decision he challenged in the Central Administrative Tribunal.