Kerala

HC vacates the CAT stay on extension of Dr. Asha Kishore as Director of Sree Chitra Institute

Dr. Asha Kishore, Director of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram. File

Dr. Asha Kishore, Director of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday set aside an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ernakulam, staying the extension of the tenure of Dr. Asha Kishore, as Director of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram.

The Bench comprising Justice A.M. Shaffique and Justice P. Gopinath also directed the tribunal to consider and dispose of a pending application challenging the extension order pending on merit.

The court passed the order on a writ petition filed by Dr. Krishor against the tribunal's stay order. The stay order came on an application filed by Dr. Sajith Sukumaran, Additional Professor, SCTIMST. According to him, the president of the institute could not extend the tenure without the approval of the Centre’s Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC). Besides the president of the institute should have taken steps to notify the vacancy and constitute a search committee under Rule 7 (ii) of the SCTIMST rules for appointment of a new director.

When the petition came up for hearing, Jaiju Babu, Senior Counsel for Dr. Asha Kishore contended that it was the Institute Body (IB) which took the decision to extend the tenure of the petitioner till her retirement. In fact, at the meeting of the IB held in May 12, nobody took any objection to the decision.It was attended by 17 member including the Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and the Principal Secretary of the State Health department.

It was on appreciation of the outstanding performance of the petitioner in the past 5 years that the IB had resolved to extend her tenure till her retirement on February 28, 2025, the petitioner said in her petition.

Senior Counsel for the petitioner contended that Sree Chitra Tirunal Act empowered the IB to appoint a director on its own. As such, no approval of the ACC was required. Besides, appointment of director of the institute, which is an autonomous statutory authority, did not come under the purview of ACC.ACC is the supreme body with regard to the appointment of senior positions in the Centre government. The contention of Dr.Sajith that extension of her tenure as director beyond 5 years could be granted only after approval of the ACC was unsustainable in the eyes of the law.

The petitioner contended that there was no justification either on facts or under the law to interfere with the extension order by the tribunal at instance of Dr. Sajith who had no locus standi to challenge the order.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 8:13:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-vacates-the-cat-stay-on-extension-of-dr-asha-kishore-as-director-of-sree-chitra-institute/article32344493.ece

Next Story