The Allahabad High Court last week stayed a suspension order against Dr. Kafeel Khan which was based on the allegation that he was forcibly treating patients in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh (Dr. Kafeel Khan v. State of UP).
While staying the suspension order, single judge Justice Saral Srivastava directed the Government to conclude enquiry against Dr. Khan within one month.
“Until further orders of this Court, the operation of order dated 31.07.2019 passed by respondent no.2 shall remain stayed. However, it is directed the respondent no.2 to conclude enquiry against the petitioner within a period of one month. It is further provided that the petitioner shall cooperate in enquiry and in case the petitioner does not cooperate in the enquiry, the disciplinary authority may proceed to conclude the enquiry exparte,” the Court directed.
In 2018, Khan was arrested by the UP police for allegedly creating nuisance at the district hospital in Bahraich, along with his two associates, Suraj Pandey and Mahipal Singh, though later they were granted bail.
The petition was moved by Khan assailing the suspension order dated July 31, 2019 by the State authorities.
It was submitted that more than two years have passed since the suspension order but enquiry has not yet been concluded against the petitioner.
Hence, the suspension order cannot remain in force in view of the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of Ajay Kumar Choudhary Versus Union of India.
Further, it was contended that since Khan was already a suspended employee, therefore, there is no purpose of passing second suspension order and there is no Rule which permits the State government to issue a fresh suspension order when the employee is already under suspension.
Khan was earlier suspended from services after the BRD oxygen tragedy in which around sixty-three children had died after the sudden stoppage of liquid oxygen supply.
All other accused who were suspended along with him were reinstated except Dr. Khan.
On the other hand, Government Advocate, AK Goel submitted that the enquiry report against Khan was submitted on August 27, 2021 and copy of the same has been sent to the petitioner on August 28, 2021 asking the petitioner to submit objection against the enquiry report.
Further, he submitted that enquiry shall be concluded expeditiously and the disciplinary authority has inherent power to pass second suspension order.
After considering the material placed and submissions of parties, the Court said that the matter needs consideration and granted four weeks time to all the respondents to file counter affidavit.
The Court also proceeded to stay the second suspension order.
Recently, the Allahabad High Court had quashed criminal proceedings against Dr. Khan in connection with a speech delivered by him at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December 2019.