The suspension order of Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan continues to hold as a separate independent disciplinary proceeding initiated against him is yet to be concluded, the Uttar Pradesh government has told the Allahabad High Court, PTI reported on Friday.
Earlier this month, the court had asked the Adityanath-led government to justify Khan’s suspension which has now extended for more than four years.
Khan was a paediatrician at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur, where 63 children died due to lack of oxygen in 2017. He was suspended from his post after the incident and jailed for nine months on charges of medical negligence, corruption and dereliction of duty.
In September 2019, the Uttar Pradesh government cleared Khan of all charges and also praised him for doing everything he could to help save lives. During the crisis, Khan said he had bought oxygen cylinders with his own money and made arrangements through his network to get more supplies.
But in October 2019, the state government began a new investigation against Khan for allegedly spreading incorrect information about the inquiry report related to the deaths and making “anti-government” remarks during his suspension.
Responding to the court’s order to justify the doctor’s suspension, the additional advocate general representing the Uttar Pradesh government said that Khan was attached to the office of the director of medical education after his suspension in 2017.
Separate disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him at that office and suspension orders were issued, the additional advocate general submitted.
The court then asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit an affidavit putting on record details about the earlier suspension order issued in 2017 and other necessary facts. The matter will next be heard on August 31.
Khan had also been arrested in January 2020 for allegedly making inflammatory remarks during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Aligarh Muslim University. He was detained under the National Security Act. The doctor was released in September after the Allahabad High Court quashed his detention order.