Complying with the Delhi High Court directive, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Tuesday signed the pending degree certificates of 49 postgraduate students of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The court had on Monday rejected Ramadoss' plea that he would not sign the certificates as they bore the signatures of Sandip Aggarwal as AIIMS registrar whose appointment had not been made by the institute's governing body. The health minister is the president of AIIMS.
The court has recognised Sandeep Aggarwal as de facto registrar of AIIMS only for signing the degrees.
The court had directed the minister to sign the certificates within 24 hours to facilitate the students going abroad for higher studies.
"The minister has all respect for the court and has signed the certificates. He was also happy over the court ruling that the Monday direction does not uphold the appointment of Agarwal," said a health ministry official.
Aggrawal's appointment to the post had been a bone of contention between Ramadoss and AIIMS director P Venugopal for the past one year. The matter is pending before the high court.
The certificates have to carry the signature of the health minister along with that of the director, dean and registrar.
Last week, resident doctors of the institute had gone on an indefinite strike to protest against non-receipt of their degrees, badly affecting the out patient department services in the hospital. The strike was withdrawn after two days when the court intervened in the matter.
On Monday, Justice Ravinder Bhatt of the Delhi High Court had, expressing anguish at the state of affairs in AIIMS in the wake of the unsavoury controversy over the tussle between the director and the health minister, observed that the "two of them have ruined the institute".
Justice Bhatt directed Ramadoss and Venugopal to coordinate with each other for the better interest of the students and patients.
The court had observed that "innocent" students should not suffer over technicalities for issuing degrees.