Jammu and Kashmir High Court has stayed the impugned government order whereby the resignation of Associate Professor, surgical oncology department, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Dr Altaf Gauhar Haji, was accepted despite the former having withdrawn it.
The High Court while passing the stay order observed: “The resignation letter, having been withdrawn by the petitioner on 8 May, 2017 and the impugned order, having the effect of terminating the service of the petitioner, appears to be bad in law.”
“Therefore, it is directed that the subject to objections and till next date of listing before the bench, the operation of impugned order bearding No. 41-SKIMS of 2017 dated 22 June 2017 shall stay,” the Court ordered.
The petitioner’s counsel, Advocate M A Qayoom argued that the law is lucid and clear on the subject and it provides that once the resignation is submitted by an employee can be withdrawn at any time before it becomes effective stands settled.
“Any action thereafter would amount to forceful termination of services. The petitioner has been made to stay away from performing his duties for which he approached the court,” Advocate Qayoom argued.
An order issued by the Director SKIMS Dr AG Ahangar on June 22 had said Dr Haji’s resignation from the services of the institute has been accepted following approval by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is chairperson of the SKIMS governing body.
Earlier in April, Dr Gauhar Haji, had submitted his resignation alleging harassment from his seniors. “It was suffocating to work in an institution where corrupt people are rewarded,” he said.
Dr Haji had alleged that he was made to struggle due to internal politics of HoD, General Surgery, Prof Khurshid Alam and HoD, Neurosurgery, Prof Altaf Ramzan of the SKIMS. Dr Haji, joined the SKIMS in 2011 after leaving his job in England. He relentlessly fought to impose a ban on minor surgeries such as gallbladder surgeries in the SKIMS to accommodate more critical patients and functioning of theatres on Saturdays.
“This created animosity against me mainly from those associated with private practices. Our team worked very hard and did not succumb to any pressure. It was with our efforts that we took the department to newer heights with regard to patient-care. In our struggle, we were abused by our colleges who could not bear the progress,” he said.