SC declines to stay V-C appointment

State and WBUHS had sought a stay on Dr Banerjee's appointment

The Supreme Court has declined to stay the appointment and functioning of Dr Amit Banerjee as Vice-Chancellor of West Bengal University of Health Sciences.

Last week, a three-judge Bench led by Chief justice Altamas Kabir, court while issuing notices to both Banerjee and the Centre, had dismissed the plea by the varsity and the West Bengal government to pass an interim restraining order against Banerjee.

Both the V-C and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been asked to file counter affidavits in two weeks.

Banerjee, who was the head of the cardiology department of the GB Pant Hospital in Delhi, was selected for the post by the Left Front government in February 2011. He however took charge on July 1, 2011.

In the meantime, Mamata Banerjee came to power. A day after Dr Banerjee assumed his office, the registrar of the varsity emailed him that his appointment had been rejected as he has 'failed to join within the stipulated and reasonable time'.

Banerjee moved the Calcutta High Court but a single judge Bench rejected his petition on the ground that he had suppressed two letters written by him to his parent hospital in order to secure his release.

Banerjee then appealed to a Division Bench, which set aside this order and allowed him to join the office. The Bench dubbed cancellation of his appointment as "illegal". He resumed his work on October 29.

"He has already resumed his office. We can understand your concern that he might start taking decisions but we cannot pass an interim order at this stage. We are issuing notices and let the replies come first," said Justice Kabir turning down the plea for restraining order by senior advocate Jaideep Gupta. The case will heard after four weeks.

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