A single-judge bench of Justice Yashwant Varma hearing the plea moved by Dr. Kafeel Khan has asked the government of Uttar Pradesh to justify the four-year-long suspension of Dr. Kafeel Khan, who was suspended from the BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur in 2017 (Dr. Kafeel Khan v. State of UP).
In 2017, Dr. Kafeel Khan was working at BRD Medical College in Uttar Pradesh when the Gorakhpur oxygen cylinder tragedy happened where more than 1000 infants died due to a shortage of oxygen cylinders.
It was Dr. Khan who had arranged oxygen cylinders at his own expense for the hospital but was, later on, made the scapegoat for the entire incident. Even after he was cleared of all charges his suspension from the college was not revoked.
It must be pointed out that all the other accused who were suspended along with Dr. Khan have been reinstated except for him, who got clearance from many inquiries.
Dr. Khan had initially moved a petition challenging an order of suspension dated August 22, 2017. By an order of March 7, 2019, that petition was disposed of with a direction to the respondents to conclude the inquiry within three months.
Pursuant to that direction, the Enquiry Officer submitted his report on April 15, 2019. The disciplinary authority however chose to pass its order after almost 11 months on February 24, 2020, and no further action was taken, Bar and Bench reported.
The Court allowed time to the counsel for the State government to gather responses from the respective authorities and address the queries the Court. The matter will be heard again on August 5.
Despite being cleared of charges, the UP government has been relentlessly harassing Dr. Khan with various charges and cases.
Earlier, he was arrested in January 2020 and charged in NSA in relation to his speech in Aligarh on Citizenship Amendment Act. He was accused of giving inflammatory speeches and arrested by UP Police.
Allahabad High Court in its order declared that Dr, Kafeel Khan’s speech was against the policy of the government. It was not instigating any form of hatred instead he spoke of national unity and integrity.
Dr. Khan has been advocating the ‘Health for All’ campaign demanding free, accessible, and good healthcare for all on the basis of health.