The alleged move of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) director to bypass the entire selection process to favour the appointment of a close aide has been snubbed by the governing body of the institute. The governing body also decided to reduce the salary of the director's officer on special duty (OSD), Swaran Saini, from Rs 55,000 to around Rs 20,000.
The decision was taken in the governing body meeting, which was chaired by union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at PGIMER on April 28. The institute would also recover the amount from Saini, which was paid to him in last several months.
After Saini's retirement on January 31, PGIMER director Dr YK Chawla allegedly bypassed the process to hire him as OSD at a salary of Rs 55,000 per month. Rather than following the proper process of proposing Saini's new job profile through the establishment branch or deputy director's office, Dr Chawla directly sent a proposal to the union health minister for approval to hire Saini as OSD at a salary of Rs 55,000. With this, Saini's pension and new salary reached around Rs 75,000.
Though the governing body is the only competent authority to take the decision in the absence of a meeting, the union health minister, who is also president of the institute, can take decisions on behalf of the body. However, such decisions are subject to approval of the governing body. So when the decision came for approval of the governing body, it was decided that "the lumpsum amount to be paid to Saini should be Rs 55,000 per month or the difference between the last pay drawn and his pension, whichever is lower"
The last pay of Saini was around Rs 40,200 and he was sanctioned a pension of Rs 20,100. He will now get Rs 20,100 instead of Rs 55,000. Sources said even the excess amount to the tune of Rs 35,000 per month paid to Saini would be recovered from him with retrospective effect from February 1.
The body also decided that Saini shouldn't be engaged for more than one year. Significantly, Saini completed 60 years of age, which was also his age of retirement, in January 2010. However, he was given re-employment for two years. After that he was hired as OSD by the director. In the past, PGI Faculty Association and Employees' Union had asked the director and health ministry to relieve Saini.
Saini was not available for comment despite repeated attempts. When contacted, PGIMER official spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said "whatever decision was taken, it was as per the rules".