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The Gujarat High Court Monday questioned the “public interest” involved in a suit challenging former Medical Council of India (MCI) chief Ketan Desai’s election to the Gujarat University senate.

Desai was arrested in April this year for allegedly taking Rs.2 crore bribe from a Punjab-based medical college. The MCI suspended his medical licence in October.

The bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice K.M. Thaker asked petitioner, People for Better Treatment, as to how a presumed illegal appointment had anything to do with public interest.

“Illegality in appointment of someone does not always amount to public interest. Someone would argue that my peon is appointed illegally. Show me what would be the public interest in this?” asked the chief justice.

“Desai managed to get elected ‘unopposed’ to the senate in the most brazen manner for a seat exclusively for the registered medical graduates despite having his registration already cancelled by the MCI,” said the petition.

The court came down heavily on lawyers for filing public interest litigation without following the rules.

The court initially was inclined to dismiss the case and impose a cost on the petitioner. But on requests by petitioner’s advocates, the court allowed time to answer its query.

The court directed them to show as to how public interest would be involved in a case when a person is elected or appointed or inducted in a senate of a university illegally.

The next hearing would be held Wednesday.

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