Ramadoss’s Failing Remedies

Ever since Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss has taken charge of the Union Health Ministry, he has been directly involved in a lot of controversies. The recent judgment by the Supreme Court declaring the AIIMS Amendment Act as null and void, is yet another setback for the minister. The verdict came after Dr Venugopal challenged his removal as AIIMS Director following an amendment moved by Union Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss to fix 65 years as the upper age limit for the post.

It is believed that Ramadoss forced the parliament to bring amendment in the AIIMS Act in order to sack Dr. Venugopal in 2007. The AIIMS Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament in August 2007. The Health Minister of this UPA government has done everything wrong as far as medicos are concerned. The battle between medicos and Anbumani Ramadoss started in the year 2006 after the quota agitation and since then, Ramadoss has been at loggerheads with the autonomous and premier AIIMS.

Anbumani Ramadoss is doing everything to ensure that he remains in the lime light, but in doing so, he is maligning the image of AIIMS and the Health Ministry and it is high time that Dr Manmohan Singh takes some stern action against him.

Dr Ramadoss has been in the eye of a storm for urging film and sports stars to not endorse soft drinks; for stuffing AIIMS with his cronies; for publicly contesting United Nations figures on AIDS in India; he had no time to sign degrees and hence students got their certificates of merit late and that too after intervention of the court; increasing the tenure of MBBS; and for advocating statutory warnings for smoking on screen. He is targeting Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan for various inane reasons and has just lost his balance somewhere, or so it seems.

The UPA and the Congress is trying to put a brave face up but the verdict has certainly showed the dishonest and malafide intentions of the minister. Anbumani Ramadoss has brazenly said that there is no question of his resigning over the SC verdict. The Health Minister has made AIIMS a playground to play the dirtiest of politics.

But this verdict might start a fresh debate in the political arena to clip the wings of the Judiciary in the country. Few of the political parties have already said that the judiciary is intervening beyond its limits in the working of the parliament. As Ramadoss waits to study the verdict, we may see fresh confrontations between the Judiciary and the Parliament. Politicians argue that laws passed by the parliament should be protected from judicial review since MPs are the people’s representatives. But then Supreme Court is the custodian of the Constitution. Any decision to clip the wings of the court may lead to similar situations that we witnessed in Pakistan after removal of Chief Justice. Whatever be the case, the fact remains that Dr Ramadoss is an embarrassment for the UPA and should be dismissed as the Union Health Minister as soon as possible.

Rishabh Srivastava

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