Differences have arisen between minister for medical education and research Anil Joshi and medical secretary Hussan Lal over the issue of removal of Dr GS Grewal from the post of the Punjab Medical Council (PMC) president.
As the minister has moved the file for Grewal’s removal, the secretary, putting his foot down, has reportedly recommended seeking opinion from the legal remembrancer (LR), taking the plea that clarity could be sought on the act governing the PMC on the issue of the term of the council president.
Sources said the minister had turned down his recommendation telling the secretary that there was no need to take any opinion as the things were clear.
Hussan Lal was not available for comment. Joshi, on being contacted, corroborated that there was no need to send the matter to the LR as it would unnecessarily delay Grewal’s removal. “It’s simple; his (Grewal’s) term has ended and he should wind up his office and leave,” Joshi said.
On Saturday, Joshi issued orders seeking a fresh panel for nominating a new incumbent, seeking Grewal’s removal, and on Sunday, he announced in Phagwara that Grewal was no longer the PMC president.
The provisions of the act dealing with the term of the PMC president say that the incumbent should be chosen from among registered medical practitioners and the vice-president should be nominated from among the council members. While Joshi told HT that the council president is also nominated from among the council members; and that Grewal’s term had already ended in January 2015.
A source in the medical education department revealed that the minister was expected to send the matter to the chief secretary for issuing final orders for Grewal’s removal. Interestingly, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday announced that he would get the matter legally examined.
Reacting to the development, Grewal on Monday left the final decision to the chief minister. “If my term ended in January 2015, as the minister claims, then why did he order an inquiry against me in October?” Grewal wondered. Joshi had formed a panel to look into the allegations that there were complaints against Grewal for indulging in corrupt practices by giving licences to doctors and also in dealing with medical colleges.
Grewal said the minister was colluding with those who were working as ghost faculty in medical colleges and resorting to unethical and corrupt medical practices.
Reacting to the minister’s statement that Grewal was no longer the PMC president, he said the (PMC) act had different guidelines for the appointment of the members and president.