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The Supreme Court Monday issued notice on a petition by an NGO challenging the election of Ketan Desai, a former president of the Medical Council of India (MCI), to the Gujarat University senate.

The petition was filed by People For Better Treatment (PBT) president Kunal Saha.

Desai was removed from the MCI last year over allegations of “professional misconduct” and corruption. His medical registration was also suspended by the MCI.

An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly issued notice after it was told that Desai could not be elected to the university senate on a post reserved for a registered medical practitioner.

The court said it would appoint a lawyer to assist it in the case.

The petitioner has challenged a Gujarat High Court order dismissing his plea on the ground that being a non-resident Indian (NRI) he was not entitled to move the court and invoke public interest.

The high court also imposed a cost of Rs.10,000 on petitioner Saha. His NGO is based in Kolkota and he is settled in America.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel M.N. Krishnamani told the court that if Saha’s stakes in the matter were in question then the court could appoint a lawyer to decide the controversial election of Desai to the Gujarat University senate.

The high court while dismissing Saha’s petition said he has not established his credential or bonafide for pursuing the case.

The high court held that Saha had not shown how he was associated with the field of medical education.

The petitioner told the apex court that Desai was caught by the CBI for allegedly taking a bribe April 23, 2010. Subsequently, the MCI with its 100 members and Desai as its president was dissolved and replaced by a six-member board of governors.

Desai was elected president of MCI in 2009.

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