KATHMANDU, July 12: The Election Commission (EC) has revoked Health Ministry´s decision to extend the term of Director of Bir Hospital Dr Buland Thapa by two years following a complaint that the decision was made without recommendation from the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) and prior permission from the commission.
"The decision has been revoked for not following the due process and taking consent of the commission," Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, one of the election commissioners, confirmed. "New appointments should be made only after taking prior permission," Yadav stated.
The ministry had extended Dr Thapa´s tenure by two years invoking Essential Services Act on May 26. The following day, the hospital staffers lodged a complaint at the EC which had sought clarifications from NAMS about the appointment.
The EC directed the health ministry to revoke the decision within three days after NAMS replied that it had not been consulted for the decision. The revocation order has not been implemented despite the ministry sending a copy of the EC directive to NAMS.
Health minister, who is the ex-officio joint-chancellor of NAMS, has to appoint director of Bir on the recommendation of vice-chancellor of NAMS. But Health Minister Rajendra Mahato had issued the directive without consent of the legal department and without following due procedure.
In a similar case, on January 7, 2010, the then minister Umakanta Chaudhary had dismissed director Dr Dirgha Raj RC without recommendation of NAMS and appointed Dr Yagya Bahadur Bhandari the following day. The Supreme Court had annulled the appointment deciding on a case filed against the ministry´s intervention.
As per the regulations, the appointed director has to be at least an assistant professor and his term can be extended by two years at the most. The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is investigating irregularities committed while procurement goods and making appointments during the two-year tenure of Dr Thapa.