BMC withdraws order removing HoD in Seth GS Medical College
Dr. Hemant Deshmukh, the dean of KEM Hospital, had issued the removal order on July 27.Updated: Aug 13, 2020 19:21 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities on Thursday withdrew their order regarding the removal of Dr. Deepa Kane from the post of professor and the head of the cardiac anaesthesia department of Seth GS Medical College, which is affiliated to Mumbai’s KEM Hospital following a severe rap from the Bombay high court (HC).
Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, who represented the civic body, on Wednesday informed the two-member HC bench, comprising Justices SJ Kathawalla and Madhav Jamdar, that the order would be withdrawn and a fresh decision would be taken by the additional municipal commissioner, BMC, after hearing the plea of Dr. Kane and Dr. Sanjeeta Umbarkar, on whose complaint the former was removed from her post.
Dr. Hemant Deshmukh, the dean of KEM Hospital, had issued the removal order on July 27.
Dr. Kane was appointed to the post on December 3, 2019.
The action was taken on the basis of a complaint lodged by Dr. Umbarkar, an associate professor in the department, alleging that Dr. Kane lacked necessary educational qualifications and experience in the cardiac anaesthesia department.
However, when Dr. Kane moved HC, BMC took a stand that she was removed from the post because the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) had withdrawn the approval to her appointment.
Advocate Rajshekhar Govilkar, who is the counsel for MUHS, pointed out that the approval was withdrawn on the basis of two communications received from the BMC authorities, in January and February, respectively, informing the university about the purported shortcoming in Dr. Kane’s qualifications and experience.
Govilkar cited that it was not an independent decision of the university and was based on the BMC’s communications.
HC was irked to note that Dr. Umbarkar had filed three complaints and representations with the dean, KEM Hospital, the additional municipal commissioner and the MUHS, and though several communications had been exchanged among them, at no point of time was Dr. Kane informed about the complaints against her.
On the contrary, Dr. Kane’s lawyer advocate Rohaan Cama pointed out that even after repeatedly approaching the authorities to know the specific reasons for her removal, she was still kept in the dark.
“This is complete malafide ... This is not the way to deal with doctors and professors,” the bench had said earlier after it was pointed out that all the steps were taken behind the back of Dr. Kane in breach of the principles of natural justice.
The judges were also annoyed to note that Dr. Deshmukh had signed the experience certificate of Dr. Kane as the then HoD, but later he had questioned the same document.
The court has allowed the civic body to take a fresh decision on the issue after granting opportunity of hearing to both the sides, but it has clarified that until then Dr. Kane would hold the post.
HC also ordered that the fresh decision of the additional municipal commissioner, BMC, would not be implemented for two weeks, if it is found to be adverse to Dr. Kane.