The Allahabad High Court last week stayed the 'second suspension' order passed by the Uttar Pradesh Government against Dr Kafeel Khan for his alleged involvement in forcibly treating patients in the Bahraich district of UP and also criticizing the Government's policy.
However, the Bench of Justice Saral Srivastava has directed the Government to conclude enquiry against him within a period of one month.
The matter in brief
Dr Kafeel, by means of a writ petition, has assailed the suspension order dated July 31, 2019 passed by respondent no.2 on the ground that more than two years have passed, but the enquiry has not been concluded against him.
Hence, it was argued that the suspension order can't remain in force in view of Apex Court's ruling in the case of Ajay Kumar Choudhary Versus Union of India (2015) 7 SCC 291.
This particular suspension order was passed by the UP Government based on an incident in which he allegedly questioned the families of the patients in the paediatric department (in Bahraich district) without obtaining permission from the hospital authorities, which created problems in the ward.
It was further contended that since he was is already a suspended employee, therefore, there was no purpose in passing second suspension order.
It was also submitted that there is no Rule which permits the State Government to issue a fresh suspension order when the employee is already under suspension.
On the other hand, the Government submitted before the Court that the enquiry report against the petitioner has been submitted on August 27, 2021, and a copy of which has been sent to him on August 28, 2021 asking him to submit an objection against the enquiry report.
It was further submitted that the enquiry shall be concluded expeditiously.
Noting that the matter requires consideration, the Court granted all the respondents four weeks' time to file a counter-affidavit and stayed the suspension order passed on July 31, 2019.
The matter has now been listed for further hearing on November 11, 2021 and in this date, the Government has been asked to info the court about the result of the inquiry against Dr. Khan.
In related news, the Allahabad High Court last month quashed the entire criminal proceedings arising out of an FIR & pending against him over his speech given about CAA and NRC at a protest meeting at Aligarh Muslim University in December 2019.
The Bench of Justice Gautam Chaudhary has quashed the entire criminal proceedings, which was initiated pursuant to his alleged provocative speech. Also, the cognizance order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Aligarh has also been set aside.
In this very matter, National Security Act was also invoked by the UP government against Dr. Khan. However, last year the Allahabad High Court quashed the detention of Dr.Khan under NSA observing that his speech was actually a call for national integration.
About Dr Kafeel Khan
Dr Kafeel was suspended after the BRD oxygen tragedy which killed 63 innocent children after the sudden stoppage of liquid oxygen supply. All other accused who were suspended along with him have been reinstated except Dr Kafeel despite getting clearance from many inquiries.
He was initially reported to have acted as a saviour by promptly acting to arrange emergency oxygen supply by paying out of his pocket.
He was also suspended from service alleging dereliction of duty. A report of the departmental enquiry absolved him of charges in September 2019.
A Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Bobde last year refused to interfere with the Allahabad High Court Order which quashed the detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA).
Case title - Dr.Kafeel Ahmad Khan v. State of U.P. and Another