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Contempt notice on RIMS post row

Imphal, March 16: The Imphal bench of Gauhati High Court served showcause notices to secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, K. Chandramauli, and director, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal, S. Shekharjit Singh, in the controversy over the post of medical superintendent.

In his order passed yesterday, Justice Ashok Potsangbam directed the two respondents to showcause as to why contempt proceedings should not be taken against the two officials or why further orders should not be passed as to this court might deem fit and proper.

The showcause notice is returnable within four weeks.

The order came after the petitioner Yanglem Mohen Singh, the incumbent medical superintendent of the RIMS filed a contempt petition against a directive by the RIMS director asking him to return to his parent pathology department and hand over charge to the newly appointed medical superintendent in-charge, H. Shanti Singh.

According to existing rules, the retirement age for medical superintendent is 62 years and Mohen was to retire on February 28 this year.

Earlier, Mohen wrote to the Union health ministry to enhance the retirement age to 65, the retirement age of members of the teaching faculty.

The Union health ministry in a letter in October last year addressed to the director rejected the plea for increasing the retirement age.

On December 14 last year, the Imphal bench of Gauhati High Court directed that the health ministry’s letter rejecting Mohen’s plea should not be effective until further orders.

Armed with the high court order, Mohen did not retire on February 28 and continued to occupy the office of the superintendent.

In the meantime, director Shekharjit Singh appointed Shanti Singh as the new superintendent in-charge with effect from March 1. The director also issued an order asking Mohen to return to his parent department of pathology and hand over charge to Shanti.

Mohen, in his written reply, told the director that he would not hand over the charge as it would amount to dishonouring the order of the high court.

Mohen also maintained that he could not return to his department as a person who was junior to him was now heading the department.

Both continued to function as medical superintendents and signed papers, but the director said he recognised Shanti as the medical superintendent.

While Mohen continues to occupy the office room, Shanti functions from the conference room of the superintendent.

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