The Supreme Court has constituted a three member oversight committee with Justice RM Lodha (Former Chief Justice of India), Shri Vinod Rai ( Former CAG of India ) as well as Prof Dr S.K Sareen ( Director, ILBS) to oversee all the activities of MCI for the next year.
New Delhi: In a landmark judgement governing the medical education of the country, a five member constitution bench of the Supreme Court has directed the the formation of a special committee ( Oversight Committee) to oversee the functioning of the Medical Council of India, till the pending reforms related to its structure as well as its functioning are properly put in place.
Quoting the points mentioned in the recent 92nd report Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health as well as the earlier Ranjit Roy Chaudhary Committee (appointed by GOI) report the Apex Court was found stating:-
“…the need for major institutional changes in the regulatory oversight of the medical profession in the country is so urgent that it cannot be deferred any longer. The Committee is, however, aware that any attempt at overhauling the regulatory framework will face huge challenges from the deeply entrenched vested interests who will try to stall ad derail the entire exercise. But if the medical education system has to be saved from total collapse, the Government can no longer look the other way and has to exercise its constitutional authority and take decisive and exemplary action to restructure and revamp India’s regulatory system of medical education and practice. The Committee, therefore, exhorts the Ministry of Health, and Family Welfare to implement the recommendations made by it in this report immediately and bring a new comprehensive Bill in Parliament for this purpose at the earliest”
The Apex Court while directing the government to overhaul the changes at the earliest, highlighted the need for an oversight committee, in the meantime, to be set ( under the Article 142 of the Constitution) to oversee the functioning of the MCI and all other matters considered by the Parliamentary Committee.
As per the judgement, the oversight committee will have the following members:-
- Shri Vinod Rai
(former Comptroller & Auditor General of India)
- Prof. (Dr.) Shiv Sareen
(Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences)
- Justice R.M. Lodha
(former Chief Justice of India)
With regards to the function of this special committee the hon’ble bench constituting of Justices AR Dave, AK.Sikri, RK.Agarwal, AK Goel and Banumati said:-
The said Committee will have the authority to oversee all statutory functions under the MCI Act. All policy decisions of the MCI will require approval of the Oversight Committee. The Committee will be free to issue appropriate remedial directions. The Committee will function till the Central Government puts in place any other appropriate mechanism after due consideration of the Expert Committee Report. Initially the Committee will function for a period of one year, unless suitable mechanism is brought in place earlier which will substitute the said Committee. We do hope that within the said period the Central Government will come out with an appropriate mechanism.
The court has directed that a notification with respect to constitution of the said Committee be issued within two weeks. The Committee be given all facilities to function. The remuneration of the Members of the Committee may be fixed in consultation with them. The matter has been listed for next year for any further directions as may be deemed necessary.