Status Quo ordered by Madras High Court on JIPMER Director appointment
The order was issued by Justice T. Raja passed on a writ petition filed by senior faculty members — Abdoul Hamide, Surender Kumar, R. Raveendran, Gopal Krushna Pal, Ashok S Badhe, and Sunil K. Narayan —claiming alleged irregularities in shortlisting of candidates and constitution of the screening committee.
The petitioner's Senior Counsel P. Wilson speaking to the court said that JIPMER being an institute of national importance fell under the direct administrative control of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He also spoke of the term of the incumbent director ending on March 23 and therefore a notification having been issued last year inviting application.
The notification spoke of the applicants having to have not less than 25 years of professional experience, with 10 of these 25 having been spent in teaching or research. The applicants were also to be postgraduates in medicine, surgery, public health or their branches apart from possessing extensive administrative and practical experience.
The Counsel revealed that the last date for submitting of the application was January 3 and along with many others the writ petitioners had also applied. The counsel alleged that the outgoing Director, Subhash Chandra Parija suddenly introduced a new clause along with the above-stated qualification requirements that applicants needed to send him articles or publications listed in American indexing service PubMed alone and not in any other indexing agency. This new requirement was mailed to the interested candidates on February 12.
However, the incumbent director, Subhash Chandra Parija, suddenly introduced a new requirement with the “oblique motive” of getting Professor of Medicine V.S. Negi selected to the post, the senior counsel alleged.
This requirement, according to the petitioners, was introduced to favour one particular applicant, Wilson alleged in court.
The petitioners in their petition alleged that a screening committee had also been formed unilaterally by the deputy director without the consent having been taken from the governing body. The notification the petition stated did not give authority to the deputy director to constitute such a committee. The petition also alleged that the selection process had been kept highly secretive and opaque”.
This has led the judge to issue a notice directing the institute to maintain status quo till the case is put up for a hearing next week reports Hindu.