It was celebration time at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Firecrackers and lights cheered the return of Dr P. Venugopal as the director of the institute on Thursday.
Venugopal was back in his office within hours of the Supreme Court pronouncing its verdict.
The cardiac surgeon drove to his office in an ambassador covered with garlands of marigold. Jubilant resident doctors and faculty members, who had supported him during his bitter battle with Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, were waiting with laddoos to celebrate the return.
The cardiac-surgeon refused to talk to the waiting media but distributed a statement saying he would continue to serve the institute till his tenure ended. “I have always served the institute and will continue to do so for the time given to me. I thank all the right-minded people who are concerned with the well-being and further advancement of AIIMS in serving the masses of this country,” he said in a statement.
“Today when I met Dr Venugopal, he said it was not a fight between him and Ramadoss but a difference in their value systems,” said Dr A.K. Bisoi, head of cardiology department at AIIMS. “The Supreme Court judgment should be honoured,” he added.
AIIMS Faculty Association president Dr Vinod Khaitan said the ruling had given back the dignity to the medical fraternity. “It is more than just a personal victory. It is victory of right over wrong, of intellectualism over ego. We always had full faith in the Indian Judiciary,” said Dr Kumar Harsh, president of the Resident Doctor’s Association, AIIMS.