Eminent cardiac surgeon P Venugopal on Thursday reassumed office as director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences following the Supreme Court striking down a law that forced him to step down from the post five months ago.
The 66-year-old, who had been appointed to the post on July three, 2003, for a five-year-term came to his office in the AIIMS barely hours after the Supreme Court verdict came out and reassumed charge.
Venugopal was accompanied by resident doctors and faculty members who have supported him all along in his tussle with Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.
His term comes to an end on July two and sources in the institute said Venugopal may approach the court regarding the five months he was out of office since November 30, 2007.
The noted cardiac-surgeon did not talk to the waiting media persons, but distributed a statement in which he said he will continue to serve the institute for the time given to him.
"I have always served the institute and will continue to do so for the time given to me," Venugopal said in the statement.
"I thank all right-minded people who are concerned with the well-being and further advancement of the AIIMS in serving the masses of this country," he said.
Venugopal returned as the AIIMS director after the Supreme Court struck down a law to ease him out after a bitter row with Ramadoss.
The cardiac surgeon had challenged the amendment to the AIIMS Act that fixed the upper age of retirement of Director at 65 years, a step that forced him to relinquish office.