Doors shut on 160 doctors of key Dhaka hospital
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) has not been allowing 160 doctors, recruited in 2005, to attend their offices since Wednesday.
This, the BSMMU authorities say, has been done following an Appellate Division order that in February declared the doctors' recruitment illegal.
The aggrieved doctors, however, say preventing them from attending office is a violation of an April 12 High Court ruling that ordered status quo on their service.
"We were not allowed to sign the attendance book on April 13," said ABM Safiullah, assistant professor of Gastroenterology.
"The chairman of my department said there are instructions from the [higher] authorities to prevent us from working.
"This is a clear violation of the [high] court order and tantamount to contempt of court," he told The Daily Star.
The BSMMU recruited 200 medical officers on March 1, 2006, and their jobs were regularised on March 18, 2008.
Iqbal Arslan -- the then secretary general of Swadhinata Chikitshak Parishad, a pro-Awami League doctors' association -- later filed a writ petition with the High Court against the recruitment, citing irregularities in the process.
Following some 10 years of legal battle, the Appellate Division on February 22 this year declared the recruitment illegal.
The BSMMU did not pay salaries of the doctors for March.
On April 12, the aggrieved doctors filed a writ petition with the High Court which then ordered a status quo with respect to their service until the certified copy of the Appellate Division's verdict is released. The copy is yet to be published.
ABM Safiullah, one of the petitioners, said they attended offices on April 12. As the High Court had ordered the status quo, disallowing them from joining offices since April 13 was a violation of that order.
"The BSMMU authorities in the dark of night on April 12 issued an order that there should be actions to prevent us from joining our work. This is not going by the law," he told this correspondent.
Contacted, BSMMU Treasurer Prof Ali Asgor Moral said they have complied with the court order on maintaining the status quo.
"We acted as per our legal counsel's advice and stopped paying their salaries and prevented them from working."
Asked if the authorities could go for actions before receiving the certified copy of the Appellate Division verdict, the treasurer claimed, "Everything has been done legally."