SC asks MCI for solution over fate of 150 medical students in MP college

New Delhi:  After 150 medical students in Bhopal being left in the lurch after permission of a college for admission in the academic session 2017-18 was denied by the Medical Council of India (MCI), The Supreme Court has taken a serious note over the matter .

A vacation bench of justices U U Lalit and Deepak Gupta expressed concern of the situation and wondered as what should be the approach to deal with the matter where the students were allocated seat by the central counselling agency to a particular college, which had later ran into difficulties.

“It is not as if the admissions in question were not in fair and transparent manner. On the other hand, the state authorities sent or directed the students to this college. Can the students be now left in the lurch,” the bench asked.

During the hearing, advocate Arjun Garg, appearing for the Madhya Pradesh government, said not a single seat was available in any of the medical colleges in the state for the academic session 2017-18.
The bench asked Garg on whose instructions he has been making such a statement and warned that if at a later stage, the submission was found to be wrong, it would haul up the official concerned.
Garg said he has instructions from additional chief secretary for medical education in the state and named the official as R S Julani.

“The correctness of that statement will certainly be considered but at this stage it must be stated that the status report on record filed on behalf of the state of Madhya Pradesh on May 2, 2018 does not indicate the stand which is now projected on behalf of the state of Madhya Pradesh,” it said.
It said that the MCI should place its view in the matter and suggest a solution, if any.

“We also direct the MCI to place before us the details as to vacant seats available in colleges in state of Madhya Pradesh and adjoining states for the academic session 2017-2018. The MCI shall file appropriate affidavit within two weeks giving complete details of vacancy situation as indicated above,” the bench said.
The top court was hearing a matter related to RKDF Medical College Hospital and Research Centre which was initially accorded approval by the MCI and the Centre to take admissions for MBBS course for academic session 2014-15.

Apex court sets aside HC order asking MCI to conduct inspection in college

New Delhi:The Apex Court today set aside a Bombay High Court order directing the Medical Council of India (MCI) to inspect a medical college, where “large-scale deficiencies” were found during an inspection last year, for granting renewal for admission in academic year 2018-2019.


A bench comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and M M Shantanagoudar allowed the appeal filed by the MCI, which had challenged the high court’s order asking it to carry out the inspection and submit a report to the Centre before April 30.

The Supreme court referred to one of its previous judgment, in which it had held that medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that facilities in a medical college were inadequate, it was not for the courts to interfere with the assessment except for reasons like mala fides of the inspection team or others.

“In view of the large-scale deficiencies found in the inspection report dated September 25, 2017 and September 26, 2017…the respondent no. one and two (Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt Ltd and Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences) are not entitled to claim another inspection,” the bench said.

“For the aforementioned reasons, the judgment of the high court is set aside and the appeal is allowed,” it said.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the MCI, had argued in the apex court that in view of deficiencies found in the inspection conducted last year, there was no question of an opportunity being given to the institute to rectify these deficiencies.

The counsel appearing for the institute and college had argued that inspection was not conducted in a fair manner and the committee’s report does not represent the correct picture.

The Centre had told the apex court that standards fixed by the MCI were the bare minimum and have to be strictly complied with to ensure maintenance of basic minimum standards of medical education.

The Centre had issued a letter of permission in May last year to the institute to admit the first batch of 150 students for the academic year 2017-2018.

The inspection for granting the first renewal for admission of students for academic year 2018-2019 was conducted by an MCI panel on September 25 and 26 last year.

After several deficiencies were pointed out, MCI’s executive committee decided to recommend to the Centre to invoke the Establishment of Medical College Regulation, 1999 and disapprove the application of institute for renewal of permission of MBBS course second batch for academic year 2018-2019.

The matter then reached the high court which held that inspection conducted by the committee was not fair.

Supreme Court sets aside Bombay HC order asking MCI to conduct inspection in college

New Delhi:The Supreme Court today set aside a Bombay High Court order directing the Medical Council of India (MCI) to inspect a medical college, where “large-scale deficiencies” were found during an inspection last year, for granting renewal for admission in academic year 2018-2019.

A bench comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and M M Shantanagoudar allowed the appeal filed by the MCI, which had challenged the high court’s order asking it to carry out the inspection and submit a report to the Centre before April 30.

The apex court referred to one of its previous judgment, in which it had held that medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that facilities in a medical college were inadequate, it was not for the courts to interfere with the assessment except for reasons like mala fides of the inspection team or others.

“In view of the large-scale deficiencies found in the inspection report dated September 25, 2017 and September 26, 2017…the respondent no. one and two (Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt Ltd and Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences) are not entitled to claim another inspection,” the bench said.

“For the aforementioned reasons, the judgment of the high court is set aside and the appeal is allowed,” it said.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the MCI, had argued in the apex court that in view of deficiencies found in the inspection conducted last year, there was no question of an opportunity being given to the institute to rectify these deficiencies.

The counsel appearing for the institute and college had argued that inspection was not conducted in a fair manner and the committee’s report does not represent the correct picture.

The Centre had told the apex court that standards fixed by the MCI were the bare minimum and have to be strictly complied with to ensure maintenance of basic minimum standards of medical education.

The Centre had issued a letter of permission in May last year to the institute to admit the first batch of 150 students for the academic year 2017-2018.

The inspection for granting the first renewal for admission of students for academic year 2018-2019 was conducted by an MCI panel on September 25 and 26 last year.

After several deficiencies were pointed out, MCI’s executive committee decided to recommend to the Centre to invoke the Establishment of Medical College Regulation, 1999 and disapprove the application of institute for renewal of permission of MBBS course second batch for academic year 2018-2019.

The matter then reached the high court which held that inspection conducted by the committee was not fair.

SC allows Centre to replace MCI oversight committee

SC allows Centre to replace MCI oversight committee
SC allows Centre to replace MCI oversight committee

The Supreme Court today allowed the Centre to replace the oversight committee set up to supervise the functioning of the Medical Coucil of India (MCI) with a fresh panel of five eminent doctors.

A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, said the Centre had proposed the names of five eminent doctors to replace the oversight committee whose term had just expired.

“The doctors proposed are all outstanding people. We are satisfied with the names,” the bench, also comprising Justices J Chelameswar, R K Agrawal, D Y Chandrachud and S Abdul Nazeer, said.

It also gave the Centre liberty to replace any doctor in the list with another if he does not wish to be a part of the oversight committee.

The bench had yesterday asked the Centre to constitute a panel which would replace the oversight committee set up last year by the apex court to oversee the MCI’s functioning till the government put in place an alternate mechanism.

The committee, set up by the court on May 2 last year, was to function for a period of one year or till a suitable mechanism was brought in by the Centre to substitute it.

During the hearing, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for some medical colleges, had told the bench that till date, no alternative mechanism had been put in place by the Centre despite the fact that the oversight panel was to function for only one year or till a suitable mechanism was evolved.

He had argued that the MCI was bound by directions of the oversight committee but the council was not adhering to them.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, had said the tenure of the oversight committee should be extended by one more year or till the time the Centre comes out with a mechanism to deal with the issues relating to the MCI’s functioning.

The apex court had on July 13 agreed to set up a five- judge constitution bench to deal with the matter after Rohatgi had said it was an urgent matter as counselling for admissions in MBBS and BDS was underway.

The Centre had earlier told the apex court that it had taken steps to put the alternative mechanism in place and there was no need now for the oversight committee to continue.

MCI had contended that the directions of the constitution bench which had set up the oversight committee were based on certain material which could not be controverted at the time of the order.

( Source – PTI )

MCI rule on bonus marks for docs in PG courses would apply: SC

MCI rule on bonus marks for docs in PG courses would apply: SC
MCI rule on bonus marks for docs in PG courses would apply: SC

The Supreme Court today said the admissions to post-graduate medical courses in Rajasthan as per NEET ranks will take place in accordance with the MCI Regulations after giving incentive marks to MBBS doctors who have served in government health facilities in remote areas.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar rejected a prayer of petitioner doctors, who are not in government service, to stay the Rajasthan High Court order granting 10, 20 and 30 per cent incentive marks in PG admissions to government doctors for rendering services in rural areas for a period of one, two and three years respectively.

The top court passed the order on a batch of pleas filed by non-service doctors and said the matters will be finally heard in August and the admissions of this year will be subject to the final outcome of the petitions.

The pleas filed by Amit Bagra and other doctors, who have MBBS degrees but are not in government service, challenged the April 7 order of a division bench of the High Court which had mandated the state government to give up to 30 per cent bonus marks to in-service government doctors for PG seats.

The apex court had earlier issued notice to the state government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) on a plea seeking quashing of the High Court order granting bonus marks as per the Post Graduate Medical Regulations 2000.

The pleas filed through lawyer Sahir Hussain, had alleged that the incentive marks were granted to in-service MBBS doctors without even defining remote areas.

The petitioners are MBBS students of non-service category who appeared in NEET-PG 2017 and cleared it.

As per the Medical Council of India regulation of February 15, 2012, discretionary powers were given to state government/competent authority to award incentive marks to the in-service candidates working in the notified remote areas.

The state government had issued a notification on March 24 thia year giving 50 per cent reservation in the state quota for students passing out of colleges affiliated to Rajasthan University/Rajasthan University of Health Sciences as well as provided blanket 10 per cent bonus marks to in-service candidates. This notification was stayed by a single judge of the high court on April 3 this year.

In-service candidates had challenged the order and the division bench of the HC on April 7 had directed the state government to grant incentive marks upto 30 per cent to in- service candidates.

The plea said that defining the remote or difficult areas would give an option to the medical officers to opt for such area in order to avail benefits of the incentive marks and it is only after someone has consciously opted for working in a remote area, that any benefit of marks can be awarded.

( Source – PTI )

HC asks civic body to appoint more doctors in neo-natal course

The Bombay High has asked Municipal Corporation of Greater to submit within a week a representation to the Medical Council of (MCI) for increasing the number of resident doctors in the postgraduate course of neo-natal speciality.

A copy of such representation should be endorsed to Government of India in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said a bench headed by Chief Justice yesterday.

The HC further directed the MCI to take a decision within two months from the date of receipt of representation.

The bench also asked the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take up the matter with the MCI for taking a positive stand on the issue.

The matter has been posted for further hearing on January 19.

The court was hearing a suo moto on the issue of neo-natal deaths across the state on a report published in a city newspaper. The report said premature babies were turned away from Mumbai’s civic hospitals due to shortage of Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).

Additional government pleader Milind More informed the court that the state government had complied with the norms laid down by the Centre on facilities and doctors.

Counsel for Municipal Corporation stated that there has been a mistake on the part of the departments of the civic body in not sending a representation to MCI for increasing the number of resident doctors in the postgraduate course of neonatal speciality.

The BMC had approached the High Court earlier after the MCI rejected its request to relax norms for more neonatal care course seats.

Following the hearing, a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sonak had directed the BMC to make a representation before MCI within two weeks.

Review sought of SC bar on single medical entrance test

An NGO Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking the review of its verdict quashing a Medical Council of India (MCI) notification mandating a common entrance test for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses in government and private institutions.

The petition was filed by NGO Sankalp saying the court’s earlier “judgment erred in not appreciating that NEET (National Entrance Eligibility Test) was required to streamline the admission process in various medical colleges”.

The majority judgment by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir (since retired) and Justice Vikramajit Sen said: “…the MCI is not empowered…to actually conduct the NEET” and introducing NEET was beyond its domain.

Justice Kabir said: “In a single window competition, the disparity in educational standards in different parts of the country cannot ensure a level playing field.”

On the other hand, Justice Anil R. Dave in his dissenting minority judgment held “it cannot be said that introduction of the NEET would either violate any of the fundamental or legal rights of the petitioners (medical colleges) or even adversely affect the medical profession”.

The NGO said that the “right to carry own profession by running a business of medical institution cannot grant unfettered right of admitting undeserving students”.

It was for the apex body of the professionals like the MCI to decide as to what type of students should undergo the professional training, the NGO said.

Contending that the proposed NEET in no way would have affected the rights of private medical institutions, the review petition said: “The function with regard to regulating educational activity would be within the domain of the professional bodies and their decision must be respected…”

(Source: IANS)

SC sets aside notification for common medical test

The Supreme Court Thursday set aside a Medical Council of India (MCI) notification mandating a common National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET) for both undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses in government and private institutions.

In a majority judgment, Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramajit Sen said: “We also have no hesitation in holding that the Medical Council of India is not empowered under the 1956 Act to actually conduct the NEET.”

“…we have no hesitation in holding that the ‘Regulations on Graduate Medical Education (Amendment) 2010 (Part II)’ and the ‘Post Graduate Medical Education (Amendment) Regulation, 2010 (Part II)’, whereby the Medical Council of India introduced the single National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test and the corresponding amendments in the Dentists Act, 1948, are ultra vires the provisions of Articles 19(1)(g), 25, 26(a), 29(1) and 30(1) of the Constitution,…”, the majority judgment said.

Addressing the practical aspect of holding a single National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, Chief Justice Kabir, pronouncing the judgment, said, “In a single window competition, the disparity in educational standards in different parts of the country cannot ensure a level playing field.”

The court said that there was “no controversy that the standard of education all over the country was not the same and each state has its own system and pattern of education, including the medium of instruction”.

“It cannot also be disputed that children in the metropolitan areas enjoy greater privileges than their counterparts in most of the rural areas as far as education is concerned, and the decision of the central government to support a single entrance examination would perpetuate such divide in the name of giving credit to merit,” the judgment said.

“The desire to give due recognition to merit is laudable, but the pragmatic realities on the ground relating to health care, especially in the rural and tribal areas where a large section of the Indian population resides, have also to be kept in mind when policy decisions are taken in matters such as this”, the court said finding holes in the practical dimension of holding NEET.

Addressing the ground realities, the court said, ” While the country certainly needs brilliant doctors and surgeons and specialists and other connected with health care, who are equal to any in other parts of the world, considering ground realities, the country also has need for ‘barefoot doctors’, who are committed and are available to provide medical services and health care facilities in different areas as part of their mission in becoming doctors”.

However, in a dissenting judgment, Justice Anil R. Dave said: “It cannot be said that introduction of the NEET would either violate any of the fundamental or legal rights of the petitioners or even adversely affect the medical profession.”

“In my opinion, introduction of the NEET would ensure more transparency and less hardship to the students eager to join the medical profession,” he ruledd wondering how the autonomy of the said institutions would be adversely affected because of the NEET.

Holding that except for some institutions having some oblique motive behind selecting students who could not prove their mettle at the common examination, Justice Dave said that NEET would give private and minority institutions better students to select from and even give the benefit of the weightage to the religion, caste, etc in the selection of students.

(Source: IANS)

Finalise Rural Medical Course, Court tells MCI

The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to finalise within six weeks the curriculum for starting a three-and-half years course for non-MBBS physicians to practise medicine in rural health centres.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher said that on failing to finalise the curriculum of Bachelor of Rural Health Care (BRHC), the MCI secretary shall remain personally present during the next hearing Oct 18.

Filing a contempt petition, petitioner Meenakshi Gautam said that on Nov 10, 2010, the court ordered the MCI to start by March 2011 the BRHC course but no action was taken.

Senior counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Gautam, complained that the delay in starting the course was leading to a serious situation where people in rural areas were being deprived of healthcare facilities.

The central government submitted before the court that it was ready to start the course, but was still waiting for the MCI to finalise the curriculum.

The petition said: “The court had given the MCI two months’ time to finalise the curriculum and syllabus of the primary healthcare practitioner course…A further period of two months was given to the ministry of health and family welfare for the enforcement of the same.”

“The Medical Council of India apparently opposed the course in 2011 and was not willing to notify it,” the petition alleged.

Private doctors on warpath in uterus removal scam

Accusing the state government of taking arbitrary action against doctors in a uterus removal scam and considering passage of a draconian Nursing Home Act which will “ruin private healthcare facilities”, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Monday warned of a state-wide agitation if the government failed to address the issue in time.

 Talking to IANS Monday, Chhattisgarh state president of IMA Dr A. Hamdani said: “Doctors will take to the streets if the state government does not make public the report of the probe against doctors in the controversial uterus removal scam within two days, besides amending the norms of the proposed Private Nursing Homes Act, which is intended to ruin the private health facilities in Chhattisgarh.”

 IMA president of the Raipur chapter Dr Ajay Sahay said: “Only the Medical Council of India has the power to suspend the licence of a medical practitioner. The state government does not have that power, but it deliberately acted against private doctors before probing the case.”

 He added: “Now the final decision in the case is being delayed, which will take away the doctors’ legal right to challenge the decision in court.”

 However, an unfazed Health Minister Amar Agrawal said: “The state government will not succumb to pressure. The probe will take its time. The guilty will not be spared.”

 Private doctors reportedly removed the uterus of hundreds of women, mostly in rural areas, telling the victims that if their uterus was not removed, it could cause cancer. The doctors pocketed the Rs.30,000 each poor family in the state is entitled to spend under the health-related Smart Card scheme in uterus removal scam.

 The IMA Chhattisgarh state unit has warned of a stir if the government doesn’t declare the report of the probe and revokes the suspension of licences of doctors by Aug 8.

 Hamdani and Sahay said they will meet Chief Minister Raman Singh, Health Minister Amar Agrawal and officials of the health department to resolve the issue.

Source: IANS