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One chair, two claimants at RIMS

- Transferred superintendent comes back after high court stay order

Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, is caught in a strange situation these days with “former” medical superintendent Dr Basundhara Kumari, whom the health department replaced with Dr S.K. Choudhary this February, coming back to reclaim her charge after the high court stayed her transfer order.

Basundhara, who was elevated to the post of RIMS’s acting medical superintendent last December and made the superintendent in January this year, was taken aback when she was suddenly removed from the state-run hospital within a month without being given a new posting.

Consequently, she challenged the health department’s decision in the high court in March.

The single bench of Justice N.N. Tiwari took up her plea on March 31 and ruled that Basundhara should not be disturbed from RIMS till further orders.

Following the high court’s intervention, Basundhara rejoined RIMS in the capacity of the superintendent on April 4 and sits in the same room as that of Choudhary, who was earlier posted as the superintendent of MGM Medical College and Hospital, Jamshedpur.

When contacted, RIMS director Tulsi Mahto said the matter being complex, he had referred it to the state government for further direction and order.

RIMS officials, however, said that there could be only one superintendent at a time. “We are in a catch-22 situation. There are two superintendents sitting in one room and we don’t know whom to approach to get official orders approved and documents signed,” said a junior employee.

Sources in the health department said as the high court had only spoken about Basundhara, and not Choudhary, they were clueless as to how to accommodate both in RIMS.

“The high court order is not very clear to the health department and hence, the senior officials are unable to take any decision. The matter has thus been sent to the advocate-general. The health department will now come up with a new order after taking proper legal advice and in accordance with the high court directive,” said a senior health official, not willing to be quoted.

Joint secretary, health department, V.K. Mishra said: “We will soon discuss the matter with the health minister and come up with an order within a week’s time.”

Basundhara declined to comment. “I have already sought legal advice and believe that the state government will take a fair decision,” she added.