MUMBAI: After Bombay high court came down heavily on KEM Hospital dean over the removal of the cardiac anesthesia department head, the BMC said it will inform the court whether the order can be withdrawn.
A bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Madhav Jamdar on Wednesday heard a petition by Dr Deepa Kane, who has been with Seth G S Medical College and KEM Hospital since 1991, except for two years at Nair Hospital. On December 3, 2019, she was appointed head of department (HoD) of cardiac anesthesia. But on July 27, KEM dean Dr Hemant Deshmukh informed her that as Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has revoked its approval, her appointment has been cancelled. She then moved HC. On Tuesday, it had directed a status quo in the matter.
Dr Kane’s removal followed a complaint to KEM dean, BMC and MUHS by additional professor Dr Sanjeeta Umbarkar that she didn’t have the academic qualifications and work experience for cardiac anaesthesia and her experience certificates were forged. Dr Umbarkar also claimed that Dr Kane’s application was sent by the HoD of general anesthesia, and not HoD of cardiac anesthesia to the MUHS for approval of appointment.
But Dr Kane’s advocate Rohaan Cama argued that she was not given a hearing, which is in violation of the principles of natural justice. “The very dean who signed on my appointment strangely says ‘you are not eligible’. The dean raises an infirmity now that the application should have gone through the existing department head,” said Cama on behalf of his client. He also said that documents were provided to Dr Umbarkar, but not to Dr Kane “whose service was in jeopardy”.
The judges questioned why the dean had not informed Dr Kane about the complaint. “Why has the dean done everything behind her back?” asked Justice Kathawalla. He also questioned if the BMC’s action of removing Kane is ‘justifiable’ if it did not inform her.
Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, for BMC, said he will prevail upon the authorities to withdraw the order. Posting the hearing on Thursday, the judges said if BMC agrees to withdraw the order, then “someone higher than the dean should supervise the matter”.