PGI Medical Superintendent Dr A K Gupta, whose three-month leave has led to a controversy, on Friday blamed the office of the institute Director Y K Chawla for creating unnecessary confusion.
Dr Gupta claimed that his leave was duly sanctioned, according to rules.
At a meeting of the PGI governing body in October, the then Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had reportedly expressed surprise as to how Dr Gupta had taken extraordinary leave of three months from September 15 to December 15 without the consent of the governing body. The Union Health Minister is president of the governing body.
Dr Gupta had gone to Nepal on a WHO assignment as a hospital management specialist. He is now here for two days in connection with exam-related work.
“The Nepal Government needs improvement in every aspect of hospital management. They had requested WHO to send an expert who could advise them,” said Dr Gupta. He said he accepted the assignment only after the director gave his consent. “As per the rules, the director of the institute has full powers to permit officers of the institute to go abroad for attending meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops for short (180 days) assignments,” he claimed.
Dr Gupta said the Director’s office created confusion when it “again sent my leave application to the Health Minister for approval. In the meanwhile, I had left for Nepal. The minister might have got annoyed because he was not aware of the fact that the director has full powers.”
“Now it is up to the director’s office to deal with the situation, I am not at fault,” he added.
Deputy Director Chetan Rao, who looks after administrative work, was not available for comment.
However, sources said Dr Gupta was interpreting rules according to his convenience. “It is clearly written in the rules that for extraordinary leave’, one has to take the permission of the president of the governing body,” said an official.
“The leave of MS comes under the category of ‘extraordinary leave’. Further, how can he draw dual salary? He is taking salary from both WHO as well as from PGI,” the official added.
However, Dr Gupta said since he was on extraordinary leave, he was not drawing salary from the PGI.