A DOCTOR suspended in Huddersfield has been told he is mentally fit to continue working pending the outcome of an investigation into him.
But 63-year-old Dr Dev Dutt will not be allowed to return to his Huddersfield practice until the probe is over.
The ruling means he could apply for work elsewhere.
In a letter to Health Secretary Dr John Reid - which he also sent to the Examiner - Dr Dutt has called for an inquiry into his case.
He wrote: "I demand a full and impartial inquiry of the actions of this PCT and its officials.
"I demand an immediate apology, financial redress and compensation caused by the actions of this PCT."
The General Medical Council carried out an assessment on Dr Dutt after he was suspended from his single-handed practice at Fartown Health Centre early in February.
The suspension followed an emergency meeting of Huddersfield Central Primary Care Trust after officials were alerted about concerns over his behaviour.
Dr Dutt has been involved in several cases in Huddersfield County Court which eventually led to a judge taking out a restraining order banning him from pursuing any further court action against several people.
The GMC has confirmed that Dr Dutt's practice is under supervision from a psychiatrist and this has been the case since August 2003.
The GMC held an Interim Orders Panel early this month.
This private hearing considered if his registration with the GMC should be suspended while he was suspended from his Huddersfield practice. The panel decided it should not.
The panel heard evidence from Huddersfield Central Primary Care Trust, a solicitor acting for Dr Dutt and the results of a psychiatric assessment of him carried out on March 31.
The panel's judgement to Dr Dutt, leaked to the Examiner, concludes that in the psychiatrist's opinion "your fitness to practise is not impaired.
"The panel has also noted the information provided by Huddersfield Central Primary Care Trust, but considers that insufficient evidence of real risk to patients, the public interest or your own interests has been presented to it today to necessitate the making of an interim order."
The GMC website makes it clear that an interim orders panel only meets to consider if doctors should be allowed to carry on working or if restrictions should be placed on them while an investigation goes on into the circumstances of their original suspension.
It states: "Interim orders do not amount to a finding of fact against the doctor, but are imposed to protect the public pending a full investigation."
A statement from Huddersfield Central PCT said: "The GMC interim orders panel review is not connected to the investigations being undertaken by Huddersfield Central PCT. These investigations are continuing."
A locum doctor organised by the PCT is now looking after the 2,000 patients registered at Dr Dutt's practice on Spaines Road in Fartown.
Huddersfield Central PCT chief executive Kevin Holder has made it clear that the investigation is looking only at Dr Dutt's work as a GP.
Once the investigation is complete, a decision will be taken whether to reinstate Dr Dutt or refer the matter to the General Medical Council
The GMC is the only organisation with the power to strike a doctor off the register of GPs - which would mean Dr Dutt would have to stop working.
The PCT's investigation team is made up of health officials and doctors.
Dr Dutt has pursued several civil actions against people who have helped or supported his 39-year-old ex-wife, Cath, after the couple parted.
They were divorced in December.
A judge has imposed an extended civil restraint order on Dr Dutt banning him from taking any more action against several people he had already pursued through the civil court system, mainly accusing them of harassment.
Last November the GMC found Dr Dutt guilty of serious professional misconduct over applications he made to try to get passports for his two daughters aged 11 and 13 who live with his ex-wife.
He was reprimanded by the GMC and allowed to keep on working.