Court order ignored to allow acting CMO a crack at post?
While the High Court allowed Dr ST Pardeshi to appear for an interview by April 17, the process was conducted by municipal commissioner Mahesh Pathak on May 10
Though Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has refused to renew registration of Dr ST Pardeshi, acting Chief Medical Officer of the civic body, if sources are to believed, efforts are underway to allow him to occupy the coveted post, that too by bending and twisting laws.
Pardeshi’s position as CMO has been under dispute due to which he was also arrested on March 12 for not renewing his licence. He later got bail. He has allegedly not renewed his licence since 1987 with the MMC.
It may be recalled that Dr Pardeshi had filed a writ petition in Bombay High Court, which was first heard on April 3, and the court ordered that he be allowed to appear for an interview, provided it was conducted in the next two weeks. MiD DAY has gone through the court order, which clearly states: “The grievance of the Petitioner is that the Intervener is a Junior Medical Officer and he is interested in getting the Petitioner disqualified so that he can be appointed as a Senior Medical Officer.
It is submitted that the term of Medical Officer is getting over and the interviews for the fresh posts are to be held shortly. It is submitted that, therefore, in the event interviews are held immediately in this week or the next week, a direction may be given to the Municipal Corporation to take his interview subject to further order that may be passed by this Court.”
However, the interview was conducted on May 10, i.e. 37 days or five weeks after the High Court order, which may amount to contempt of court. Ostensibly, the municipal commissioner had also received a letter from MMC informing that Dr Pardeshi’s application for registration cannot be renewed.
While alleging violation of the court order and ultra vires by the municipal commissioner in this case, Dr Devendra Shirole, national vice president of Indian Medical Association and a class I officer from PMC, said “According to the court order, Pardeshi was given permission to appear in the interview till April 17, 2013.
But he took the interview on May 10, 2013 – over a month later. This is complete contravention of the High Court order. Commissioner Mahesh Pathak was also aware of the situation, but he took Pareshi’s interview. This means that the commissioner had ultra vires in this case.”
“Also, MMC had sent letters to both these persons about non-renewal of Pardeshi’s registration on the April 30, 2013. The communications were sent by speed post, and would not have taken more than a couple of days to reach,” Shirole added.
Dr Devendra Shirole, Dr Vaishali Jadhav and Dr Kalpana Baliwant from PMC had raised objections to Mahesh Pathak allowing Dr Pardeshi’s interview.
A police complaint has been filed against Dr ST Pardeshi and Mahesh Pathak at Shivajinagar police station. Confirming this, inspector Seema Mehendale said, “We have got the complaint. We have not taken any action yet, as we are seeking legal opinion on this.”
The other side
When contacted, Mahesh Pathak, municipal commissioner, said, “While conducting Pardeshi’s interview we sought legal opinion from a High Court lawyer, and went ahead accordingly. Also, Section 27 of Indian Medical Council Act and Section 33 (1) [iv] of Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act, 1961 allows this.” But when, MiD DAY asked an executive committee member of Maharashtra Medical Council, he said “According to MMC, if there a person is not registered with us then he/she can not practice or hold a position like this. Though the person’s name is in registry with MCI, he needs registration of MMC too.”