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Home > India > News > PTI

SC reserves verdict on Venugopal's plea

March 12, 2008 21:36 IST

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The AIIMS tug of war

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on the petition filed by noted cardiologist P Venugopal challenging his removal as director of AIIMS after the Centre fixed 65 years as the upper age limit for the post.

A Bench headed by Justice Tarun Chatterjee after hearing the contentions of Venugopal and the Centre reserved the verdict.

Venugopal contended that the amendment to the law was brought in with the sole purpose of removing him and it was discriminatory which needed to be quashed.

The amendment brought in the AIIMS Act pertaining to the fixation of upper age for the Director at 65 is discriminatory against the distinguished cardiologist and needs to be quashed, senior advocate Arun Jaitely, appearing for the doctor, said.

He contended that the Act was illegal as the High Court had in March last year upheld his continuance in the post and the matter was pending in the apex court but the Centre in the meantime brought the amendment.

The case came up before the apex court after a bitter turf war between Venugopal and Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss over the control of the prestigious institution.

Earlier, on December 3 last, the apex court had expressed displeasure over the removal of the Director and had described it as "unfortunate".

"Why was such a reputed person humiliated in this way," the Court had asked while questioning the motive behind bringing out an amendment in the AIIMS Act when Venugopal's tenure as Director was coming to an end after six months on July 2 this year.

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