The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Centre and AIIMS, seeking a report by July 27 on demarcation of powers of the institute's Director and the Health Ministry and on the exodus of senior doctors from the hospital.
A division bench, comprising Justice RS Sodhi and Geeta Mittal, hearing a public interest litigation, issued the notice to the Centre through the Union Health Ministry and to AIIMS through its Director Dr P Venugopal.
The PIL sought directions that the respondents not allow doctors of the institute to raise any agitation, either pro or against the management, ignoring the interest of the patients during public hours.
The petition also requested the court to order setting up of a committee, headed by a sitting High Court judge, to prepare the guidelines and demarcate regulations clearly indicating the duties to be discharged by AIIMS President and Director without any interference from each other.
"... For the proper administration of the institute of national importance in the facts and circumstances of the case," it added.
While issuing the notice, the court observed that the world renowned institute "is in a mess".
Petitioner Vikash Jain, through counsels Sugriva Dubey and Namita Roy, said it is "unthinkable" that Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss should get involved with minor administrative affairs of an autonomous institution.
He ordered transfer of officials on the "sly" while the AIIMS Director was on leave, the petitioner added.
"But this is precisely what Dr Ramadoss, true to his style of functioning, has done at AIIMS..... The Minister's gross interference would leave the AIIMS Director or for that matter, any self respecting Director incandescent with rage was only to be expected," the PIL said.
"The Minister's already bruised reputation has taken a fresh beating following his uncalled for spat with the AIIMS Director with the explicit purpose of grabbing control over the premier health facility with Rs 500 crore budget," it added.