THE DELHI High Court on Friday stayed the government's move to sack AIIMS director P. Venugopal.
Justice Anil Kumar said: "The decision of the AIIMS governing body dated July 5 is stayed and the government and AIIMS is restrained from giving effect to the said order." This will give Venugopal time in office at least till August 17 when the case comes up next in court.
At the AIIMS, the doctors hailed the stay and decided to end their strike after a general body meeting. They returned to work later in the evening
The court has also issued notice to the Centre, the health minister, AIIMS and the Election Commission and sought their replies within two weeks on the petition filed by Venugopal challenging his ouster.
Notice to the EC was significant as Venugopal had sought Health Minister A. Ramadoss's disqualification on the ground that he held an office of profit as the president of AIIMS.
Minutes after the court's stay, Venugopal said he would not compromise on AIIMS's dignity and continue fighting for its autonomy. Ramadoss said he would challenge the stay in the Supreme Court. He said punitive action would be taken against the agitating faculty and students. But the doctors made it clear that they would return to strike if action was taken against them.