New Delhi: The Delhi High Court said it was “deeply pained” that no action has been taken by the Medical Council of India (MCI) on the issue of registration of an Indian doctor who was barred from practising in the US for sexual offences.
The bench said several months have passed since its July 19 order asking the MCI to expeditiously and effectively complete its consideration regarding the doctor, who was present in court today, and pass an order to enable the court take a comprehensive view in the matter.
The submission of the MCI counsel that three months would be needed to file an affidavit, did not go down well with the bench which observed that the apex medical body was taking so much time to decide on a simple matter.
“Despite July 19 order, six months have passed and the matter was adjourned for the same purpose. We are deeply pained to see that no action has been taken.
“Today, time of three months is sought to file an affidavit (is being sought) which is unreasonable as no authority can take 10 months to decide the issue under a single law,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.
The bench granted two months to the MCI to comply with its earlier order and listed the matter for February 6.
During the hearing, the doctor’s counsel submitted that he has been denied his valuable right of an opportunity to show cause against the action of the Delhi Medical Council, which has serious consequence of depriving him of the right to process his renewal of registration.
The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it after coming across a news report about the doctor who, after being barred from practising by a US court in 2011, was now treating patients in the National Capital Region (NCR).
As per the report, a court in Georgia in the US had asked the doctor to surrender all US medical licences, leave the country and “not practice medicine in any form within the United States or any other country”.
The report had also said that the medical practitioner had pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated sexual battery and unwarranted medical examination on women patients, a crime that carries a mandatory 25 years in prison in the US.
The court said women in the US had the courage to report his conduct, but here not many would complain when there is an offence of sexual violence or of such nature.
The court, in its July 19 order, had said it cannot be denied that the MCI was required to consider the issue of registration of the doctor, his conduct and the orders against him in the USA.