KATHMANDU, Jan 13: Prof Dr JP Agrawal, dean of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), resumed office from Friday after an interval of four days.
Dr Agrawal stayed away from the office for four days following a Supreme Court (SC) order on January 7 to reinstate Dr Sashi Sharma to the post of IOM dean. The government had sacked Dr Sharma from the post in 2014. But the court reinstated him, though just four days of his term remained. The apex court order allowed both Dr Agrawal and Dr Sharma to work as the dean for four days. Dr Sharma's term ended on Thursday.
“As per the spirit of the court order, I resumed working as the dean from today,” said Dr Agrawal on Friday, “Dr Sharma got retirement yesterday.”
Dr Sharma, who is also a former vice-chairman of Nepal Medical Council, had decided to approve the property details submitted by the controversial Kathmandu National Medical College owned by CPN-UML leader Jainuddin Ansari to receive IOM affiliation.
It is learnt that Tribhuvan University (TU) considers that the post of dean at IOM is vacant after the retirement of Dr Sharma, and is planning to appoint another dean instead of Dr Agrawal.
However, Prof Dr Tirtha Raj Khaniya, Vice Chancellor of TU, said that they would abide by the law and SC verdict. But he refused to talk about the legal status of Dr Agrawal. “We are consulting with legal advisors. We will reach a conclusion soon after the consultations,” he said.
Dr Agrawal was appointed by TU as the IOM dean on November 3, 2016 for four years following an agreement with Dr Govinda KC who demanded that TU appoint the IOM Dean on the basis of seniority.
The government led by Khil Raj Regmi had sacked Dr Sharma from the post four years ago on January 22, 2014, after the hunger strike of Dr KC. Dr Sharma filed a writ petition at the SC challenging the government decision on February 13. However, then Chief Justice Sushila Karki did not issue an interim order on the petition as demanded by Dr Sharma.