Court stays Trehan’s ouster from Escorts hospital


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Saturday stayed the ouster of pioneering cardiologist Naresh Trehan from the premier Escorts hospital after he was prevented by the management from entering it.

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Acting on a petition filed by Anil Nanda, the estranged brother of Escorts chief Rajan Nanda, Justice Geeta Mittal directed the hospital to maintain status quo and allowed Trehan to function at the hospital in the capital for another six months.

Fixing Aug 6 for next hearing, the court said Trehan and his team of doctors will be allowed to carry out their treatment in the hospital as usual.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi appearing for Nanda submitted that the case on the transfer of the hospital management from the Escorts group to the Ranbaxy-owned Fortis Healthcare was still pending in the court.

"The decision of the Fortis management to oust Dr. Trehan was violative of the September 2005 order of the high court, which directed for maintaining status quo on the stake holding of Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre (EHIRC) and its management," said Rohtagi.

"Dr. Trehan's contract was with EHIRC society for 20 years starting from 1990 up to 2010. As per the high court order on maintaining the status quo, the Fortis management cannot terminate the contract," Rohtagi said.

Fortis Healthcare Friday announced that Trehan had relinquished office as executive director of EHIRC but the noted cardiologist dismissed the announcement as "nonsense".

Said Shivinder Mohan Singh, managing director of Fortis, which acquired 90 percent stake in EHIRC in 2005 for Rs.5.85 billion: "There was a clear conflict of interest and we have been persuading him not to do so for the last two years. When nothing happened, we had to close the relationship."

He was referring to Trehan's Rs.10 billion Medicity project in Gurgaon in which the doctor is reported to have a personal stake. The healthcare hub, coming up along the lines of Dubai Health City, is expected to be the largest such centre in South Asia.

Trehan, who holds 10 percent stake in EHIRC, denounced Singh's announcement saying that he had not quit nor Fortis management had talked to him before making any such announcement.

"What nonsense, I am not going to quit, I have my patients to attend to," he said, adding that "its bizarre. There is no conflict of interest nor any betrayal".

Earlier Saturday, tension prevailed at the Escorts hospital when Trehan was prevented by the management from entering it, even as his patients rallied behind him and protested the move.

Trehan, a pioneer in minimal invasive cardiac surgery who claims to have done 50,000 surgeries, was founded the hospital in 1988 after returning from the US.

In spite of the management move, he managed to force his way into the premises around noon.

Singh later said the hospital had registered a police complaint for misbehaviour and vandalism against the cardiologist and allowed him limited entry into the hospital.

"He has been given limited entry to the hospital and operation theatres till all the patients registered under him are treated," Singh told reporters.

"We have filed a case against Trehan at the Okhla police station for what he did in the morning," he said, adding, "he is using legal means to ruin the institution."

Expressing concern for his patients, Trehan had said his job was to take care of patients. "Since early morning the relatives of patients on whom major surgeries had to be done were calling me."