Delhi HC dismisses Glocal medical college petition challenging MCI denial of 150 MBBS seats
New Delhi: Holding that the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) denial of permission to Glocal Medical College to take in the 4th batch of 150 MBBS students for the academic year 2019-20 cannot be faulted with; the Delhi High Court has dismissed the petition by the institute.
The medical college sought setting aside of May 18th order Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), whereby it had been directed not to admit MBBS in its college and directions to the MCI to issue Letter of Permission (LoP).
It had also prayed the high court to direct the medical council to list display the name of the college in the list of Medical Colleges entitled for counselling and admission for MBBS course for this academic year. The MBBS counselling has already ended by August 31st in most of the states.
In its petition, the medical college claimed to have all the adequate facilities required for imparting education for MBBS course. It said that despite the recommendations of the overseeing committee mandated by the Supreme Court, the Board of Governors in supersession of MCI (MCI BoG) rejected to give the LoP.
This MCI order was challenged before the SC where the medical college was given relief in medical admission process and bank guarantee. Thereafter, the medical college apparently did not allow the assessors of the MCI to conduct the assessment on the date 5th and 6th April 2019. Earlier the medical college did not allow the MCI assessors to carry out the assessment on 03.01.2019 & 04.01.2019 submitting to the effect that it was the winter vacations from 31.12.2018 to 07.01.2019.
After a hearing on this matter, the MCI in May, decided not to renew permission for admission of the 4th batch in the MBBS Course for the academic year 2019-20.
Alleging violation of an SC direction, the medical college submitted that the impugned order was passed by MCI without granting an opportunity to be heard, thus, it needs to be quashed.
In response to the contentions made by the medical college, the MCI apprised the court that September 2018, it had received complaints from a group of MBBS students alleging lack of basic facilities and infrastructural deficiencies at the medical college premises including shortage in faculties, doctors as well as patients.
The MCI further submitted that the medical College did not permit the inspection by the MCI Assessors on 05.04.2019 and did not offer any explanation as to why the MCI Assessors were not permitted to inspect on 03.01.2019 & 05.04.2019. Thus, taking into account the deficiencies and the aspect that the medical college had not allowed the MCI to carry out the assessment, the MCI decided not to grant renewal of permission for the admission of 4th batch of 150 MBBS students for this year in view of the several complaints filed against the medical college.
It was informed to the bench that the students of the 2016-17 batch had approached the Allahabad High Court seeking transfer to another medical college in the UP since there was no infrastructure for their teaching and training in the MBBS course.
There were complaints standing in relation to the forged records including surgeries, IPDs, OPDs, attendance records being uploaded on the MCI web site with patients being admitted at the time of inspection and faculties, the medical council submitted.
Supporting its case, the MCI placed its reliance on an 2013 SC judgment where it was held,
“MCI and the College authorities have to bear in mind, what is prescribed is the minimum, if MCI dilutes the minimum standards, they will be doing violence to the statutory requirements. MCI is duty-bound to cancel the request if fundamental and minimum requirements are not satisfied or else the College will be producing half-baked and poor quality doctors and they would do more harm to the society than service.”
On the part of medical college not allowing the apex medical council to conduct an inspection, the MCI stated the institute could not in any manner constrict and prohibit the assessors from carrying out an assessment when the expert Statutory Authority in as much as the Expert Statutory Authority had legitimate reasons for seeking verification.
The MCI contended that the medical College has clearly conceded to the fact that it was not ready for being inspected towards the grant of renewal of permission for the admission of 4th batch of 150 MBBS students for the academic year 2019-20 since the College had tried to explain the same by stating that there were winter vacations from 31.12.2018 to 07.01.2019 and that the College had failed to prove any concrete reasoning and justifying the denial of assessment on 03.01.2019 and 05.04.2019.
It stated that on 03.01.2019 & 05.04.2019, the MCI had found a deficiency of faculty at 74.35% deficiency of residents at 78.78%, apart from various other serious/ gross deficiencies of infrastructure or physical facilities.
The explanation offered by the college authorities regarding the deficiencies as well as for not allowing the MCI Assessors to carry out the Assessment to the Hearing Committee was found unsatisfactory.
Hence, the Hearing Committee recommended not to grant approval for renewal of permission for admission of 4th batch of 150 MBBS students for the academic year 2019-20 at Glocal Medical College Super Specialty Hospital &Research Center, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in view of the existing deficiencies of Faculty and Residents, inadequate clinical material and infrastructural deficiencies."
Accordingly, the MCI accepted the recommendation of the Hearing Committee not to renew the permission.
Noting the submissions, the Delhi HC bench of Justice Anu Malhotra stated,
“.. in such a situation where the Institution does not allow the team of the MCI or the assessors of the MCI to conduct an inspection, it will be adding premium to deviancy and conferment of this kind of a privilege is absolutely unwarranted and in these circumstances, the directions sought for grant of renewal of Letter of Permission in that case for the academic session 2017-18 was held to be unacceptable.”
In its verdict, the bench declined the petition of the medical college and held:
…”it is essential to observe that the factum that the petitioner institute did not permit the respondents to conduct the inspections twice as observed vide the impugned order dated 18.05.2019, it is apparent that the petitioner has not been able to explain the deficiency of faculty of 74.35% and residents of 78.78% in its Institute, which deficiencies are wholly gross and which cannot be overlooked by this Court, and thus, in as much as the respondent no.2 is bound to maintain and regulate the standards of excellence in Medical Education, the impugned order of the respondent no.2 dated 18.05.2019 declining the prayer made by the petitioner for permission of induction of 4th batch of 150 students in the MBBS Course for the academic session 2019-20, cannot be held to be unjust or inappropriate and cannot be faulted with…”