West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjees decision to appoint Dr Sukumar Mukherjee as Chief Adviser to the health department came under the judicial scanner on Friday when the Supreme Court sought her response as to why she should not be made a party in a Public Interest Litigation pending before the Calcutta High Court against her decision.
A Bench led by Justice R M Lodha issued a notice to Mamata,seeking her reply on why she should not be made a party in the case challenging the appointment of Mukherjee,against whom the apex court had earlier made adverse remarks in a separate case.
It was surely abnormal procedure adopted by the Calcutta High Court. She should have been issued notice and she should be heard before deleting her name from the list of parties. Prima facie,having regard to allegations,the High Court ought not to have deleted her name from the array of parties, said the Bench.
The court also clarified that the notice was limited to the aspect of seeking her reply as to why she should not remain a party in the case. It also issued notices to the state,Dr Sukumar Banjeree,the Medical Council of India and others. It has asked all the parties to reply within six weeks.
The court passed the order on a plea filed by an NRI doctor Kunal Saha against the HC order,which had refused to issue notice to Mamata. Saha had contended that Mukherjees appointment was wrong since he had been severely criticised by the Supreme Court for medical negligence in the death of Sahas wife in 1998.