Allahabad HC stays U.P. govt. order suspending licence of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Amethi; employees call off nine-day protest 

Division Bench says inquiry against the hospital will go on, asks the State government to file counter affidavit

October 05, 2023 02:02 am | Updated 07:36 am IST - Amethi (U.P.)

Joyous: Members of the joint forum of doctors and staff of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital celebrate the Allahabad HC order. 

Joyous: Members of the joint forum of doctors and staff of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital celebrate the Allahabad HC order.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The decision of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday to stay the Uttar Pradesh government’s order suspending the licence of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Amethi has brought relief to the facility’s staff and those indirectly dependent on it for their survival.

A Division Bench of Justices Vivek Chaudhary and Manish Kumar said the inquiry against the hospital would go on, and asked the State government to file its counter affidavit.

The Health Department had suspended the hospital’s licence on September 18 and halted OPD and emergency services after a probe was launched into the death of a 22-year-old patient, Divya Shukla, following a surgery. The hospital, run by the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust headed by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, is one of the largest hospitals in Amethi.

“About 800-900 patients daily avail of the OPD facilities at a nominal fee of ₹100,” said Sanjay Singh, president of the joint forum of doctors, paramedic staff and contract workers of the hospital. Following the court order, the forum called off its nine-day-long protest against the suspension of the licence.

Sant Kumar, 44, who has been running a tea shop outside the hospital since 2004, said, “For the past two weeks, my business had practically collapsed. I pray the hospital resumes its operations soon. We are still worried.”

In its report, the three-member probe team had found laxity in treatment and said the patient’s life could have been saved by specialist doctors. “We are in favour of an inquiry and want the culprits to be punished, but suspending services means taking away the livelihood of 400-odd employees and hundreds of others indirectly dependent on the hospital for survival,” said Bimlesh Kumari, a woman autorickshaw driver, who ferries patients from the hospital to the nearby bus stand.

BJP demand

Meanwhile, the BJP’s Amethi district unit has demanded that the management of the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust be handed over to Maneka Gandhi and her son Varun Gandhi, BJP MPs from Sultanpur and Pilibhit, respectively, or be taken over by the State government.

“The government had given more than 64 bighas on lease, but the trust failed to abide by the agreements of the lease. Hence, the government should take back the land and get it to be run by Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi, who are natural heirs of the late Sanjay Gandhi,” party district president Ram Prasad Mishra told The Hindu.

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