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Balbir S Tomar vs Union Of India & Anr on 17 August, 2016

Balbir S Tomar vs Union Of India & Anr on 17 August, 2016

Delhi High Court
Balbir S Tomar vs Union Of India & Anr on 17 August, 2016

* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Pronounced on : August 17, 2016

+ LPA 702/2015 & CM Nos.23523/2015 (stay), 6547/2016 (direction)

BALBIR S TOMAR ….. Appellant
Through: Dr.A.M. Singhvi, Sr. Advocate with
Mr.Akhil Sibal, Mr.Saurabh Suman Sinha,
Mr.Prashant Kumar and Mr.Nikhil Chawla, Advs.
Versus
UNION OF INDIA & ANR ….. Respondents
Through: Mr.Vikas Singh, Sr.Adv. with
Mr.T.Singhdev, Ms.Puja Sarkar and
Ms.Naikthansangi, Advs. for MCI.
Mr.Bhagwan Swarup Shukla, CGSC with
Mr.Kavindra Gill and Mr.Rachit Goel, Advs. for
UOI.
Mr.Dayan Krishanan, Sr.Adv. with Mr.Shailender
Saini, Adv. for Intervener.
CORAM:
HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE JAYANT NATH
JUDGMENT

: Ms.G.ROHINI, CHIEF JUSTICE
1. This appeal is directed against the order of the learned Single Judge dated 08.10.2015 in W.P.(C) No.9488/2015.
2. The unsuccessful petitioner, who is a medical practitioner and a member of the Medical Council of India, is the appellant before us. By the order under appeal, the learned Single Judge had dismissed W.P.(C) No.9488/2015 filed by the appellant herein/writ petitioner assailing the following orders:
LPA 702/2015 Page 1 of 19
(i) The proceedings dated 30.04.2015 of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India directing the Medical Council of India to ensure that immediate action is taken under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 in the light of the allegations against the Petitioner.
(ii) The proceedings dated 30.04.2015 of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India directing the Appellant not to attend any meeting of the Medical Council of India as its member till the allegations made against him are settled.
(iii) The notice dated 10.09.2015 issued by the Medical Council of India calling upon the Appellant to show cause as to why appropriate proceedings under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and the Regulations made thereunder should not be initiated against him and as to why his name should not be removed from the Indian Medical Register.
3. The learned Single Judge held that no case for interfering with the show cause notice was made out, particularly in the light of the seriousness and gravity of the allegations made against the writ petitioner. The learned Single Judge had also declined to interfere with the order of the Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare dated 30.04.2015, observing that allowing the writ petitioner to attend the meetings of MCI as a member thereof is likely to interfere with the decision making of MCI regarding the allegations against the petitioner.
LPA 702/2015 Page 2 of 19
4. The said order of the learned Single Judge is assailed in the present appeal on various grounds. Before adverting to the contentions advanced on behalf of the parties, it is necessary to notice the facts in brief.
5. As mentioned above, the appellant/writ petitioner is a medical practitioner. He is also a member of the MCI constituted by the Central Government under Section 3 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (for short ‘IMC Act’).
6. In the year 2011, MCI lodged a complaint against the appellant-writ petitioner stating that MCI had inspected National Institute of Medical Sciences University (for short ‘NIMS’), Jaipur, a private medical college of which the appellant/writ petitioner is the Chairman, for the purpose of recognition/permission for MBBS & PG course and during the inspection, certain false documents/declaration forms pertaining to the faculty strength, nursing staff and etc. were produced and that the appellant/writ petitioner by abusing his position as a member of MCI attempted to manipulate the assessment reports. On the basis of the said complaint, CBI had registered FIR No. RC03(A)/2012-AC-III dated 19.07.2012 against NIMS as well as the appellant/writ petitioner under Section 120-B and Section 467 of IPC read with Section 13(1)(d) and Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
7. One Dr.Sharad Aggarwal, who claims to be the elected President of Indian Medical Association (Uttar Pradesh) for the year 2014-15 filed W.P.(C) No.6713/2014 titled Dr.Sharad Aggarwal vs. Union of India seeking a direction to the Union of India to remove the name of the appellant herein as a Member of the Medical Council of India under Section LPA 702/2015 Page 3 of 19 3(1)(b) of the IMC Act, 1956. The said writ petition was disposed of by order dated 29.09.2014 with a direction to the Union of India to treat the writ petition as a complaint and consider the same within a period of six weeks. Alleging that the said directions were not complied with, Dr.Sharad Aggarwal filed Contempt Petition No.882/2014.
8. During the pendency of the said proceedings, on the basis of a complaint lodged by a student pursuing Medical Course in NIMS, a fresh FIR, being FIR No.29/2015, P.S. Sadar, Ranchi has been registered against the appellant on 06.02.2015 under Sections 376-C, 511, 354, 354-A, 354-B and 506 of IPC, 1862 for the alleged acts of sexual harassment.
9. Pursuant thereto, Dr.Sharad Aggarwal filed CM No.4639/2015 in Contempt Petition No.882/2014 seeking a direction to the respondents therein to take a decision in terms of the directions dated 29.09.2014 in W.P.(C) No.6713/2014. Though the said application was dismissed by order dated 13.03.2015, Dr.Sharad Aggarwal was granted liberty to bring the factum of registration of FIR No.29/2015 to the notice of the Medical Council of India and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
10. Accordingly, Dr.Sharad Aggarwal made a representation and by proceedings dated 30.04.2015, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India directed MCI to take immediate action against the appellant herein on the basis of the complaint of Dr.Sharad Aggarwal. By separate proceedings dated 30.04.2015, the Government of India had also ordered that the appellant shall not attend any meetings of MCI till a decision is taken on the allegations made against him.
LPA 702/2015 Page 4 of 19
11. In terms of the proceedings of the Government of India dated 30.04.2015, MCI had issued a notice dated 10.09.2015 to the appellant/writ petitioner stating that the Ethics Committee of MCI had found the allegations in the complaint dated 06.02.2015 made by the medical student to be extremely serious in nature and his conduct is unbecoming of a medical professional. Accordingly, he was called upon to furnish his explanation to the allegations contained in the complaint and to show cause within a period of 15 days as to why action should not be initiated for removing his name from the Indian Medical Register. Aggrieved by the same, the appellant filed W.P.(C) No.9488/2015 contending inter alia that the show cause notice dated 10.09.2015 was without jurisdiction since no professional misconduct within the meaning of Chapter 7 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 (for short ‘the Regulations’) can be attributed to him merely on the basis of the registration of FIRs. As noticed above, the learned Single Judge declined to entertain the writ petition and dismissed the same by order dated 08.10.2015 which is under challenge in the present appeal.
12. During the pendency of this appeal, a fresh order dated 04.01.2016 came to be passed by MCI, purportedly in exercise of the powers conferred under Clause 8.5 of the Regulations, restraining the appellant/writ petitioner from practicing as a Doctor during the pendency of the proceedings before the Ethics Committee of MCI.
13. The appellant filed C.M.No.1446/2016 seeking stay of the proceedings dated 04.01.2016 and we have disposed of the said application on 09.02.2016 staying the operation of the order dated 04.01.2016 subject to LPA 702/2015 Page 5 of 19 the condition that the appellant cooperates and participates in the proceedings pending before the Ethics Committee.
14. In the above noticed factual background, the following two issues arise for consideration in the present appeal:

(i) Whether the interference with the inquiry pending before the Ethics Committee of MCI pursuant to the show cause notice dated 10.09.2015 for removal of the appellant’s name from the Medical Register is warranted by this court;

(ii) Whether the order passed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India dated 30.04.2015 directing the appellant/petitioner not to attend any meeting of MCI till the allegations made against him are decided is bad on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or being in violation of the principles of natural justice.

15. It may be added that though the order dated 30.04.2015 of the Government of India directing MCI to take immediate action against the appellant/petitioner in terms of the provisions of Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 was also assailed in the writ petition, even by the date of filing the writ petition MCI had acted upon the said directions of the Government of India and initiated inquiry against the appellant/writ petitioner herein vide notice dated 10.09.2015. Pursuant thereto, the inquiry is now pending before the Ethics Committee of MCI and the validity of the said inquiry is also the subject matter of the present appeal. Hence, the prayer in the writ petition to set LPA 702/2015 Page 6 of 19 aside the said order of the Government of India dated 30.04.2015 does not survive.
Contentions on behalf of the Appellant:
16. It is contended before us by Dr.A.M. Singhvi, Senior Advocate and Sh.Akhil Sibal, Advocate who appeared for the appellant/writ petitioner that none of the allegations on the basis of which FIR dated 19.07.2012 and FIR dated 06.02.2015 were registered can form basis for the misconduct alleged against the appellant and, therefore, the impugned proceedings initiated by MCI for removal of the appellant’s name from the Indian Medical Register are illegal and without jurisdiction.
17. It is sought to be explained that the alleged irregularities concerning faculty strength, nursing strength, bed occupancy, etc. in NIMS, Jaipur which are the subject matter of the first FIR registered on the basis of the complaint lodged by MCI do not pertain to the appellant and does not have bearing on the conduct of the appellant. At any rate, since CBI having concluded the investigation has already filed a closure report, there is no reason for continuation of the inquiry before the Ethics Committee. It is also submitted by the learned counsel that the complaint on the basis of which the second FIR was registered has also been withdrawn by the complainant and therefore the allegations therein cannot be relied upon for any purpose whatsoever.
18. It is further contended that in fact the impugned proceedings for removal of the name of appellant from the Indian Medical Register are without jurisdiction since the punishment under Chapter 8 of Regulations is LPA 702/2015 Page 7 of 19 attracted only to a case of “misconduct” as laid down in Chapter 7. Having regard to the admitted fact that the investigation into the two FIRs is still pending and there is no conviction as provided under Clause 7.5, it is strenuously contended that the ‘misconduct’ as defined under Chapter 7 is not attracted and no proceedings can be initiated under Chapter 8.
19. The further contention is that the Government of India has no power or authority under the Regulations to award a punishment or to take disciplinary action and it is only for MCI to take such action, if any, following due process of law. Hence, the impugned action of the Government of India in debarring the appellant/writ petitioner from attending MCI meetings is without jurisdiction apart from being violative of the fundamental principles of natural justice since no opportunity of being heard was provided to the appellant before passing the order dated 30.04.2015. In support of the said contentions, the learned counsel relied upon Whirlpool Corp vs. Registrar of Trade Marks (1998) 8 SCC 1; Siemens Corp. vs. State of Maharashtra (2006) 12 SCC 33; Oryx Fisheries (P.) Ltd. vs. Union of India (2010) 13 SCC 427; State of Orissa vs. Dr.(Miss) Binapani Dei & Ors. (1967) 2 SCR 625 and Sahara India (Firm), Lucknow vs.CIT (2008) 14 SCC 151.
20. While submitting that the complainant in FIR No.29/2015 dated 06.02.2015, who had alleged acts of sexual harassment has withdrawn her complaint and so far as FIR No.RC03(A)/2012-AC-III dated 19.07.2012 is concerned, after due inquiry the police has already filed a closure report, it is submitted by the learned counsel for the appellant that the order dated LPA 702/2015 Page 8 of 19 30.04.2015 debarring the appellant/writ petitioner from attending MCI meetings is liable to be set aside on that ground alone.
Contentions on behalf of the Respondents:
21. Per contra, it is contended by Sh.Vikas Singh, the learned Senior Counsel appearing for MCI as well as Sh.Dayan Krishnan, the learned Senior Counsel appearing for the intervener that as is evident from the language of Clause 8.1 of the Regulations, the instances of offences and of professional misconduct enumerated in Clause 7 do not constitute a complete list of the acts which call for disciplinary action and that MCI is empowered to initiate proceedings even on the basis of any other form of professional misconduct on the part of the registered practitioner. It is also contended that having regard to the very serious allegations of sexual harassments, outraging of modesty and criminal intimidation made by a student pursuing Medical Course in the appellant’s institution at Jaipur, the appellant/writ petitioner cannot be allowed to continue as Medical Practitioner and, therefore, the proceedings for removal of his name from Indian Medical Register have been rightly initiated. To substantiate the above contentions, the learned counsels relied on Narinder Singh and Others vs. State of Punjab and Another (2014) 6 SCC 466; Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab and Another (2012) 10 SCC 303; Depot Manager, A.P. State Road Transport Corporation vs. Mohd. Yousuf Miya & Ors. (1997) 2 SCC 699; Capt. M. Paul Anthony vs. Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. & Anr. (1999) 3 SCC 679; Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan & Ors. vs. T. Srinivas; (2004) 7 SCC 442 and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. & Ors. vs. Sarvesh Berry; (2005) 10 SCC 471.
LPA 702/2015 Page 9 of 19
22. Supporting the conclusion of the learned Single Judge that allowing the writ petitioner to attend the meetings of MCI may interfere with the decision making of MCI on the professional conduct of the petitioner as well as the other allegations relating the Medical College of the petitioner, it is further contended by the learned counsel for the respondents that the order dated 30.04.2015 passed by the Government of India debarring the appellant/writ petitioner to attend the meetings of MCI warrants no interference.
Consideration
(i) Whether the interference with the inquiry pending before the Ethics Committee of MCI pursuant to the show cause notice dated 10.09.2015 for removal of the appellant’s name from the Medical Register is warranted by this court;
23. Section 20A of IMC Act which empowers MCI to prescribe standards of professional conduct and etiquette and a code of ethics for medical practitioners reads as under:

“20A. Professional conduct. – (1) The Council may prescribe standards of professional conduct and etiquette and a code of ethics for medical practitioners.

(2) Regulations made by the Council under sub-section (1) may specify which violations thereof shall constitute infamous conduct in any professional respect, that is to say, professional misconduct, and such provision shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force.”

LPA 702/2015 Page 10 of 19
24. Section 33(m) of IMC Act also empowers MCI to make Regulations providing for standards of professional conduct and etiquette and code of ethics to be observed by medical practitioners. In the exercise of the powers so conferred, the MCI with the previous approval of the Central Government made the Regulations relating to Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics for registered medical practitioners called as the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 (for short ‘Regulations’).
25. Chapter 7 of the said Regulations enumerates the acts of commission or omission on the part of a Physician which constitute professional misconduct rendering him/her liable for disciplinary action. Clause 7.4 and Clause 7.5 which are relevant for the purpose of the present case read as under:
“7.4 Adultery or improper conduct. – Abuse of professional position by committing adultery or improper conduct with a patient or by maintaining an improper association with a patient will render a physician liable for disciplinary action as provided under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 or the concerned State Medical Council Act.

7.5. Conviction by court of law. – Conviction by a
court of law for offences involving moral
turpitude/criminal acts.”

26. It is contended by the learned counsel for the appellant/writ petitioner that the disciplinary action in terms of Clause 8.2 which may culminate in removal of name of a medical practitioner from the Indian Medical Register LPA 702/2015 Page 11 of 19 may be initiated only where an allegation of “professional misconduct” as defined under Chapter 7 of the Regulations is made. According to the learned counsel, none of the clauses of Chapter 7 are attracted to the case of the appellant/writ petitioner since there was neither an allegation against the appellant/ writ petitioner of improper conduct with a patient, nor he was convicted by a court of law for any offence, much less an offence involving moral turpitude. Thus, it is contended that the impugned action of MCI in initiating proceedings for removal of the name of the appellant/writ petitioner from the Indian Medical Register is without jurisdiction.
27. On the other hand, the learned senior counsel appearing for MCI as well as the intervener, relied upon Chapter 8 of the Regulations which provides for punishment of disciplinary action, particularly Clause 8.1 and Clause 8.2 which read as under:

“8.1. It must be clearly understood that the instances of offences and of Professional misconduct which are given above do not constitute and are not intended to constitute a complete list of the infamous acts which calls for disciplinary action, and that by issuing this notice the Medical Council of India and or State Medical Councils are in no way precluded from considering and dealing with any other form of professional misconduct on the part of a registered practitioner. Circumstances may and do arise from time to time in relation to which there may occur questions of professional misconduct which do not come within any of these categories. Every care should be taken that the code is not violated in letter or spirit. In such instances as in all others, the Medical Council of India and/or State Medical Councils have to consider and LPA 702/2015 Page 12 of 19 decide upon the facts brought before the Medical Council of India and/or State Medical Councils.

8.2. It is made clear that any complaint with regard to professional misconduct can be brought before the appropriate Medical Council for Disciplinary action. Upon receipt of any complaint of professional misconduct, the appropriate Medical Council would hold an enquiry and give opportunity to the registered medical practitioner to be heard in person or by pleader. If the medical practitioner is found to be guilty of committing professional misconduct, the appropriate Medical Council may award such punishment as deemed necessary or may direct the removal altogether or for a specified period, from the register of the name of the delinquent registered practitioner. Deletion from the Register shall be widely publicized in local press as well as in the publications of different Medical Associations/ Societies/Bodies.”

(emphasis supplied)

28. With reference to the above provisions, it is sought to be contended by the learned counsel for the respondents that the instances of offences and of professional misconduct enumerated in Chapter 7 do not constitute a complete list of the acts which call for disciplinary action and that MCI is empowered to initiate proceedings under Chapter 8 even on the basis of any other form of professional misconduct on the part of a registered practitioner. It is also submitted that every care should be taken that the code is not violated in letter or spirit and that MCI has to consider and decide upon the facts brought before and in the light of serious allegations levelled against the petitioner. Hence, according to the learned counsel for the respondents, the proceedings initiated against the appellant/writ LPA 702/2015 Page 13 of 19 petitioner for removal of his name from the Indian Medical Register are in accordance with law and cannot be held to be illegal or without jurisdiction on any ground what so ever. The further contention is that since the inquiry is still pending before the Ethics Committee, it is not open to the writ petitioner to seek indulgence of this court by way of parallel proceedings.

29. At the cost of repetition, we would like to make it clear that Chapter 7 of the Regulations provides for commission or omission of acts on the part of a physician which would constitute professional misconduct rendering him/her liable for disciplinary action. In addition thereto, Chapter 8 which provides for punishment and disciplinary action makes it clear that the instances of professional misconduct which are given in Chapter 7 do not constitute and intended to constitute a complete list of infamous acts which call for disciplinary action and that MCI or the State Medical Council is not precluded from considering and dealing with any other form of professional misconduct on the part of a registered medical practitioner. Hence, MCI may hold an inquiry on any complaint with regard to professional misconduct and take an appropriate decision after giving an opportunity to the registered medical practitioner to be heard in person or by pleader.
30. As is evident from the impugned show cause notice dated 10.9.2015, serious allegations of sexual harassment, outraging modesty, criminal intimidation were levelled against the appellant/writ petitioner and the appellant/writ petitioner was called upon to explain as to why appropriate proceedings under the IMC Act 1956 and the Regulations made thereunder should not be initiated and the name should not be removed from the Indian Medical Register. It is relevant to note that there is no specific reference to LPA 702/2015 Page 14 of 19 either Clause 7.4 or Clause 7.5 of the Regulations in the show cause notice while seeking to initiate inquiry against the petitioner for the alleged professional misconduct.
31. Therefore, it cannot be contented at this stage that the impugned show cause notice and the consequential inquiry are without jurisdiction on the ground that neither Clause 7.4 nor Clause 7.5 is attracted. What is relevant at this stage is the fact that certain serious allegations are levelled against the appellant/writ petitioner on his conduct as a medical practitioner which need an inquiry as contemplated under Chapter 8 of the Regulations. Having regard to the fact that the appellant/writ petitioner has submitted the reply to the show cause notice dated 10.09.2015 and the inquiry before the Ethics Committee is still pending, it is also not proper for this court to express any opinion on the question whether any case of professional misconduct is made out against the appellant/writ petitioner. It is an issue which needs consideration by the Ethics Committee after giving an opportunity of being heard to the appellant/writ petitioner. On the basis of the finding recorded by the Ethics Committee, it is for MCI to take appropriate decision regarding the punishment, if any, to be imposed in terms of the provisions of Chapter 8 of the Regulations.
32. However, it is contended by the learned counsel for the appellant/writ petitioner that the proceedings initiated by the MCI are liable to be dropped since the CBI has filed a closure report in the first FIR registered on the basis of the complaint lodged by MCI based on the inspection of NIMS Jaipur and similarly, the other complaint lodged by the medical student has LPA 702/2015 Page 15 of 19 been withdrawn by the complainant herself and thus, nothing survives for further enquiry by the Ethics Committee.
33. The law is well settled that there is a conceptual difference between the departmental proceedings and the criminal proceedings. In the light of the serious allegations levelled against the petitioner and without any conclusive findings to negate the same, it would not be appropriate for us to interfere at this stage with the disciplinary proceedings pending before the Ethics Committee. The law is clear that there would be no bar to proceed simultaneously with departmental enquiry and trial of a criminal case unless the charge in the criminal trial is of grave nature involving complicated questions of fact and law. The purpose of departmental enquiry and of prosecution is two different and distinct aspects. The departmental enquiry is to maintain discipline in the service and efficiency of public service. The enquiry in a departmental proceeding relates to conduct or breach of duty of the delinquent officer to punish him for his misconduct defined under the relevant statutory rules or law. (Vide Depot Manager, A.P. SRTC v. Mohd. Yousuf Miya; (1997) 2 SCC 699, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan v. T. Srinivas; (2004) 7 SCC 442, Hindustan Petroleum Corpn. Ltd. v. Sarvesh Berry; (2005) 10 SCC 471, Uttaranchal RTC v. Mansaram Nainwal; (2006) 6 SCC 366 and NOIDA Entrepreneurs Assn. v. NOIDA, (2007) 10 SCC
385). According to us, the same analogy applies to the inquiry by the Ethics Committee of MCI into the allegation of “professional misconduct” against a medical practitioner.
34. In the light of the above discussion, we are of the view that the closure/withdrawal of criminal proceedings cannot be a ground for this LPA 702/2015 Page 16 of 19 Court to conclude that the appellant/writ petitioner is not guilty of professional misconduct. Therefore, the learned Single Judge has rightly declined to interfere with the inquiry pending before the Ethics Committee of MCI under Chapter 8 of the Regulations for removal of the name of the appellant/writ petitioner from the Indian Medical Register.
(ii) Whether the order passed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India dated 30.04.2015 directing the appellant/petitioner not to attend any meeting of MCI till the allegations made against him are decided is bad on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or being in violation of the principles of natural justice.
35. So far as the challenge to the Government of India proceedings dated 30.04.2015 is concerned, the learned Single Judge had held that since the allegations of tampering with medical education and acting in breach of professional etiquette and ethics are under investigation, allowing the petitioner to attend the meetings of MCI as its member thereof is likely to interfere in the decision making of the MCI.
36. The above conclusion has been assailed before us contending that no such decision can be taken by the Government of India even before a decision is taken by the Ethics Committee. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the appellant that once a decision is taken by the Ethics Committee, the matter will be placed before the Executive Committee and then the General Body and till such time the appellant should not have been barred from attending the meetings of MCI. The further contention is that the said order is in violation of the fundamental principles of natural justice LPA 702/2015 Page 17 of 19 since there was no notice to the petitioner/appellant before debarring him from attending the MCI meetings.
37. We do not find substance in any of the above contentions. It is no doubt true that the IMC Act, 1956 does not expressly provide for debarring a member of MCI from attending the meetings. However, on a combined reading of the various provisions of the IMC Act, it is apparent that the MCI is a mere recommendatory body whose functioning is controlled and regulated by the Government of India. Under Section 3 of the Act, the Government of India is the competent authority to constitute MCI and Section 3A further empowers the Government of India to supersede the Council itself, in which event the President, Vice President and members of the Council shall vacate their offices. Further as per Section 3C members of Council are bound by the directions if any given by the Central Government. That being the case, it is always open to the Government of India in exercise of its incidental and ancillary powers to direct a member against whom serious allegations of misconduct are made and are being inquired into by MCI, not to attend the meetings as a member of MCI, till the inquiry is concluded. Therefore, we are unable to accept the contention that the order dated 30.04.2015 is without jurisdiction. Similarly, since the order being in the nature of an interim arrangement but not deciding the right of the appellant to continue as member of MCI conclusively, the same cannot be held to be bad on the ground of violation of principles of natural justice.
38. For the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any justifiable reason to interfere with the order under appeal. Accordingly, the appeal is disposed of with a direction to MCI to proceed with the inquiry initiated against the LPA 702/2015 Page 18 of 19 appellant/writ petitioner for removal of his name from the Indian Medical Register and to pass appropriate order in accordance with law. The appellant/writ petitioner is at liberty to raise all the objections as permissible under law including the grounds that are raised in the present appeal.
39. Accordingly, the appeal is disposed of.
CHIEF JUSTICE JAYANT NATH, J.
AUGUST 17, 2016 pmc LPA 702/2015 Page 19 of 19

Source: DHC

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