MCI and Government pulled up to show due diligence in matters relating to granting of various permissions regarding medical colleges

Supreme Court: The Bench
comprising of Anil R. Dave, Vikramajit Sen and U.U. Lalit, JJ., held that the Medical Council of India
(MCI) and the Central Government must show due diligence right from the day
when the applications preferred in respect of Medical Colleges are received. The MCI and the Central
Government have been vested with monitoring powers under Section 10A of the
Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and the Regulations framed under the Act. It
is expected of these authorities to discharge their functions well within the
statutory confines as well as in conformity with the Schedule to the
Regulations. If there is inaction on their part or non-observance of the time
Schedule, it is bound to have adverse effect on all concerned.

The Court while clubbing a bunch of
petitions emanating out of disapproval of applications (relating to  increase in number of seats in existing
institutions, institutions which were sought to be established for the first
time and institutions seeking renewal of permission) preferred in respect of
Medical Colleges for the academic year 2014-2015 issued by the Central
Government, basing on the reason that the MCI, after scrutiny, had found
infirmities or inadequacies in the infrastructure, facilities and faculty in
the said colleges, though the respective applicants Colleges  claimed to
have rectified the shortcomings and asked for compliance verification which was
subsequently refused by the Central Government and/or the MCI refused for want
of adequate time.

The Supreme Court slammed the Central
Government and MCI by referring to the delay, as it not only caused loss of
opportunity to the students’ community but at the same time caused loss to the
society in terms of less number of doctors being available. Therefore, they
must show due diligence as stated above. The schedule giving various stages and
time limits must accommodate every possible eventuality and at the same time
must comply with the requirements of observance of natural justice at various
levels. Moreover the court directed them to discharge their functions in accord
with the concerned Regulations and the Statute in keeping the observations made
by the court. It also said that the central government had been empowered to
make minor adjustments in the schedule for inspection and grant of permission
to medical colleges. However, the bench clarified that the September 30 deadline
to complete admissions to all MBBS seats must be scrupulously adhered to. [Royal Medical Trust v. Union of India,  2015 SCC OnLine SC 740, Decided on 20.08.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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