Director Dr P Venugopal’s supporters were half expecting the news of his termination well before the institute body meet began on Wednesday.
The resolution proposing Dr Venugopal’s termination notes that he is already 64 years old, well past retirement age, and finds him guilty under Rule 9 (Criticism of government) of Conduct Rules.
The Centre believed, the letter adds, "Dr Venugopal gathered faculty, students and outsiders in AIIMS’ auditorium and openly criticised the government. It lead to considerable tension in AIIMS and, therefore, it is proposed to terminate the term of Dr Venugopal as Director in public interest."
The committee members
The meeting was attended by BJP MP VK Malhotra, Congress MP Akhilesh Das and government appointees -- DU Vice-Chancellor Deepak Paintal, Director of General Health Services Dr RK Srivastava, Head of the Central Drug Research Institute SS Agarwal, Institute Dean Dr RC Deka, Biophysics HoD Dr TP Singh, Health Secretary PK Hota -- and, of course, Dr Venugopal.
According to Malhotra, the Health Minister said Venugopal could be given three months’ salary and asked to leave.
They opposed resolution
Dissent by three members of the governing body -- VK Malhotra, Deepak Paintal and SS Agarwal -- was recorded when the proposal was made. According to Malhotra, Ramadoss told the governing body members he had the Prime Minister’s sanction to go ahead with the move.
Break from past
*Institute Body Meeting usually held at AIIMS, not Nirman Bhawan
*Agenda declared well in advance, unlike this time when the meet was a low-key affair
*No notice given to the Director in advance and no explanation sought from him