The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government counsel to seek instructions from the state government on a writ petition filed by Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan, challenging his suspension from BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur.
Dr Kafeel Khan, a paediatrician, was suspended from service on August 22, 2017, from BRD Medical College following the death of about 60 infants in the hospital due to lack of oxygen.
The court has listed August 5 as the date for the next hearing in the case.
In the present writ petition, Dr Kafeel Khan has challenged an order of suspension dated August 22, 2017.
An additional challenge has also been made to an order of February 24, 2020 passed by the disciplinary authority, which has, while accepting the report submitted by the enquiry officer in part, dissented with the findings returned by the enquiry officer in respect of two charges and directed a further enquiry to be conducted.
Earlier, the petitioner had approached the court by filing a writ on the ground that although he had been suspended way back in the year 2017, yet the inquiry proceedings had not been concluded till the filing of that petition.
Acting on this writ petition, the court on March 7, 2019 disposed the writ petition with a direction to the respondents to conclude the enquiry within three months.
Pursuant to that direction of the high court, the enquiry officer submitted his report on April 15, 2019. Thereafter, the disciplinary authority chose to pass the order under challenge after almost 11 months.
Taking note of this, the court observed, “The delay in taking further action on the part of the disciplinary authority is not explained. The respondents are also obliged to justify the continuance of the order of suspension which has continued for more than four years”.
It was also contended by the petitioner that as many as eight persons were suspended along with him in this oxygen shortage case, but all of them had been reinstated except the petitioner.