PGI medical superintendent chargesheeted for disobedience

  • Tanbir Dhaliwal, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2016 16:56 IST
The then Union health minister had ordered Dr AK Gupta to return midway from a three-month project in Nepal in September 2014. Dr Gupta did not return, but filed an appeal with the ministry seeking permission. The case has not been closed since then. (HT photo)

Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research medical superintendent (MS) Dr AK Gupta has been chargesheeted for ‘disobeying’ the then Union health minister’s order and continuing his three-month assignment with the Worth Health Organization (WHO) in Nepal in 2014. He has been asked to file his reply within 10 days stating that why action should not be taken against him.

Dr Gupta has recently applied for the post of PGI director and senior administrative officials claimed that he was now ineligible for the job.

“His application will be cancelled as a person against whom a chargesheet has been issued is not eligible for the post of director,” a senior administrative official claimed.

The issue

In 2014, Dr Gupta had taken an extraordinary leave of three months from September 15 to December 15 without the consent of the governing body. At a meeting of the body in October 2014, the then Union health minister Harsh Vardhan had reportedly expressed surprise as to how Dr Gupta had gone to Nepal on a WHO assignment as a hospital management specialist, without taking consent from the ministry.

Vardhan cancelled Dr Gupta’s leave and the message was conveyed to the doctor on September 29, 2014. However, instead of following orders and coming back, he chose to stay back and filed an appeal with the ministry seeking permission, but he got no reply.

PGI wrote to ministry in September 2015

The issue was never closed then, but sources have told HT that in September 2015, the PGI again wrote a letter to the ministry, forwarding Dr Gupta’s file for reconsideration of his request to accept the WHO assignment in Nepal.

In reply, the ministry issued a letter to the director seeking regular departmental proceedings against the MS. The ministry had also said that action may be initiated against Dr Gupta for not adhering to the requirement of depositing part of the consultancy fees he earned during the assignment.

“Dr Gupta had earned around Rs 28 lakh during the trip. Under the department of personnel and training (DoPT) norms, if a doctor earns money by offering services to UNO agencies, then he/she need not deposit the money with the institute. Hence, he was not chargesheeted for not depositing the fee earned,” said a PGI official.

“The MS has been chargesheeted for not obeying orders of the health ministry. He not only completed his three-month leave, but also took 15-day extra leave. He can be dismissed from service for disobedience,” the official added.

Talking to HT, Dr Gupta said, “The PGI director has powers to sanction leave for 180 days to his faculty. I applied for leave in June 2014. On September 13, he sanctioned my leave and two days later, I left for Nepal. On September 29, I was informed of the ministry’s order. I filed an appeal with the ministry to allow me to complete my trip, but got no reply.”

He added, “When the director had all powers to sanction a leave, then why was the file sent to the ministry? I have been illegally chargesheeted for providing consultancy to Nepal under a WHO project.”

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