The Supreme Court today refused to interfere with the suspension of Dr.Kafeel Ahmed Khan, and dismissed his special leave petition filed against the March 7 judgment of Allahabad High Court.
The bench of Justices S K Kaul and Indira Banerjee also observed that subsistence allowance as per law should be paid to him.
The bench however added that the dismissal of the petition should not be understood as SC's approval of the observations made by the High Court. The High Court had observed that Khan's non-cooperation was the reason for delaying the disciplinary proceedings. The High Court while disposing Khan's writ petition had directed the authorities to complete the proceedings within three months.
Khan was suspended from service in August 2017 while he was working at the Paediatrics department of Baba Raghav Das(BRD) Medical College Gorakhpur on charges of dereliction of duty and private practice. The suspension followed the deaths of about 60 infants in the hospital due to lack of oxygen, after oxygen suppliers cut off supply due to non-payment of dues by hospital. Khan was initially reported to have acted as a saviour by promptly acting to arrange emergency oxygen supply by paying out of his pocket.
Despite being hailed as a hero for arranging cylinders as children gasped for breath, he was named in an FIR registered under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. It was alleged that he was negligent in his duties, which resulted in a shortage of medical oxygen.
He was arrested in September 2017, and was released only in April 2018 when the High Court allowed his bail application after observing that there existed no material on record to establish charges of medical negligence against Dr. Khan individually
Last September, he was arrested again in a nine year old fraud case.
In April 2018, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) released a statement in defence of Khan, saying that he had been framed. The secretary of the IMA blamed the state government officials and demanded a high level probe. Over 200 health professionals and allied activists wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, demanding justice for Khan, his immediate release and the dropping of "false charges" against him.
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