Supreme Court on Monday was in for a rude shock when it was informed that Delhi government misrepresented its observation and allotted work to an orthopaedic doctor, who was found professionally unqualified for clinical work by three committees of experts.
A bench ordered Delhi health secretary, deputy secretary, medical superintendent of LNJP hospital Amit Banerjee and the hospital’s head of orthopaedics department to personally appear in court on January 11. All have to explain how Dr Yadu Lal was allotted clinical work on the grounds that there was a Supreme Court order, when there was none.
The bench, comprising justice DK Jain and justice H L Dattu, was surprised when Ashok Arora, appearing for Safdarjung Hospital’s former head of orthopaedics department, drew the court’s attention to Lal’s posting at LNJP. Arora said Lal was allowed to carry out clinical work in LNJP’s orthopaedics department, after a senior government law officer informed the department that Supreme Court had ordered so.
“I have failed to understand how our observations are taken as order. Whatever oral observations we had made had been taken as order. What is this? It is total contempt,” the bench told additional solicitor general Haren Raval, who was appearing in place of additional solicitor general PP Malhotra.
“We make hundreds of observations. Let them take all of them as orders. Half of them will lose their job,” the bench said further. Lal, who has been without clinical work for five years, had approached the apex court against a Delhi high court order that refused to let him do clinical work, as there were three separate findings against his professional competence.
His competence came under scrutiny after the Delhi high court, in 2004, ordered compensation of R1 lakh to a girl whom Lal, who worked with Safdarjung Hospital, allegedly operated wrongly.