PIL for MCI reconstitution: HC seeks copy of ‘IMC Act’

The Allahabad High Court has asked the Assistant Solicitor General of India (ASGI) to place before it the copy of The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act,2013.

Written by Prashant Pandey | Allahabad | Published: December 7, 2013 4:56 am

The Allahabad High Court has asked the Assistant Solicitor General of India (ASGI) to place before it the copy of The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act,2013,notified by the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance,2013,on the basis of which nominations and election of members to the Medical Council of India (MCI) from various state and universities have been sought through a Union Health ministry notification dated June 14.

The court passed the order in connection with a PIL,filed by Dr Anil Kumar Singh,in which it was pointed out that the said notification was based on an Act,which has not yet been passed by Parliament,and,therefore,it could not be held as valid. It was also pointed out that an Act of Parliament cannot be notified through an ordinance.

The case will be heard next on December 18.

A Division Bench of Justices Sheo Kumar Singh and Pradeep Kumar Singh Baghel passed the order December 3 following arguments and documents submitted by the petitioner’s counsel M D Singh ‘Shekhar’.

The PIL had sought re-constitution of the elected MCI,which is currently being run by a Board of Governors (BoG) since 2010.

The BoG was constituted in the wake of the arrest of the then MCI chairman Ketan Desai for allegedly accepting Rs 2 crore bribe to grant illegal favours to a medical college.

The PIL had also sought a direction to the CBI to present its report on the basis of which Desai was given a clean chit in the disproportionate assets case.

The court said: “Learned Assistant Solicitor General of India (ASGI) is there for the respondent No. 1 (Union of India,through Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) on the next date or otherwise he is to place before the Court copy of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act,2013,notified by the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance,2013,as referred to page 124 of the paperbook (set of documents submitted by the petitioner).”

ASGI R B Singhal said a counter-affidavit would be filed as per directions of the court. “If it is mentioned that a copy of the relevant Act has to be produced,we will do that,” he said.

Shekhar said: “Our submission was that any notification,citing a particular Act that is yet to be passed,has no validity and amounts to committing a fraud on Constitution,Parliament and people.”

The said health ministry notification,issued by a deputy secretary level official,says that MCI was superseded in 2010 (by BoG) and ‘as per the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act 2013,notified by the Indian Council (Amendment) Ordinance,2013,on 21-5-2013 the Council has to be reconstituted by 10-11-2013’. It has been issued to the Principal Secretaries of all the states as well as the Registrars of Universities (imparting medical education)/ health universities.

However,documents pointed out that,on August 19,the said Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2013 was tabled in the Rajya Sabha to be passed as an Act. But the bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare. On November 2009,the standing committee tabled its report in both the Houses,observing that the original structure of the MCI should be restored.

On the other hand,on September 28,another notification was issued providing for BoG to continue monitoring the MCI affairs because the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill-2013 was not passed.

Meanwhile,the government came out with another notification November 5,mentioning around 60 names said to have been nominated or elected by different states and the central government.

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