The Uttar Pradesh government has said the inquiry into Dr Kafeel Khan, a former paediatrician at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur, where 63 children died in 2017 because of lack of oxygen, is still on, The Indian Express reported on Sunday.
The government’s statement came on Saturday, hours after Khan asked the state government to immediately revoke his suspension.
According to officials, an additional departmental inquiry is looking into Khan on the charge of indiscipline, and for allegedly not following rules. He has only been cleared of the accusations of dereliction of duty and failure to inform senior hospital officials about the shortage of oxygen cylinders.
Khan is accused of failure to disclose the details of his medical practice with a private hospital, which is against the rules, reported India Today. He also allegedly operated a private nursing home. Khan denied the charge without giving a “satisfactory answer”, the government added.
Mrityunjay Kumar, a media advisor to Chief Minister Adityanath, told The Indian Express that the details of the inquiry were “presented to the accused officer” for his reply, and a final decision was pending.
The doctor has accused the government of trying to falsely implicate him. “To hide government failure, I was made into a scapegoat and imprisoned for nine months, despite the fact that I had left no stone unturned in saving the lives of kids on that day, a duty any doctor would have committed himself to under those circumstances,” he said at the press conference on Saturday. “Honourable Allahabad High Court, while granting bail to myself, has categorically stated that there is no evidence of medical negligence against me and I was no where involved in the process of procurement of liquid oxygen or its tendering process.”
After the deaths in August 2017, Khan was immediately suspended. He was jailed for nine months after a criminal case of medical negligence, corruption and dereliction of duty was filed. The case took a political turn with Chief Minister Adityanath blaming Khan for the deaths while denying that the deaths occurred due to a shortage of oxygen.
The doctor told the press on Saturday that though he was relieved about being cleared of any wrongdoing, he and his family struggled to survive for two years when he was victimised by the government. “Uttar Pradesh government should publicly apologise to the grieving parents who lost their kids and compensate them,” he added.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.