The Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for the commencement of the Chandrapur Government Medical College by refusing to stay the order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court to allot 100 seats for the college for its first academic session this year. Following the HC directive, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had issued a Letter of Permission for starting the college.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) that refused to give a favourable report stating unavailability of requisite infrastructure on over 40 counts, had moved the Supreme Court against the HC directive.
The SC bench comprising Justices HL Dattu, Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy refused to stay the HC order and also refrained from issuing notices to the respondents. The demand for a medical college at Chandrapur had been pending since 2003 but the MCI had cited inadequate number of beds as one of the deficiencies in the district hospital to decline permission.
Activists Prakash Itankar of Gadchiroli and Ramdas Wagdarkar from Ballarpur had moved a PIL before the Nagpur bench against the MCI report claiming that the MCI had not acknowledged the presence of requisite 300 beds in the district hospital and had provided a misleading figure of 274 beds.
While the petitioners said MCI had not counted 26 beds in the gynaecology ward, the MCI had argued that it was in a separate department and hence cannot be counted together with 274 beds.
The HC bench comprising Justices Bhushan Gawai and Indira Jain had last week ruled in favour of the petitioners.
The MCI had moved the HC against this ruling taking the plea that the said HC directive does not conform to the established SC directive not to allow opening of new medical colleges after June 15 and allowance for new medical college at this stage should not set a precedent for others.
The SC bench did not go into the merits of the case as the Centre had already issued a LOP for the college. Incidentally, due to quashing of All India PMT by SC last month, the admissions, anyway, had to be rescheduled. The SC will, however, continue hearings into the MCI petition next week.