New Delhi: Instances of errant medical colleges making admissions to the medical courses without obtaining the requisite permission; are being rampant nowadays. Taking stringent action against one such “deviant” medical institute, the Supreme Court in its recent verdict; has sternly punished the RKDF Medical College.
Observing that the medical college management was misleading the apex court by manipulating and filing fabricated records, the Supreme Court bench comprising Honorable Justices SA Bobde, Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice R Subhash Reddy barred the RKDF medical college to make any MBBS admissions for the next 2 years.
In addition, the SC also directed the medical institute to pay Rs 5 crore penalty, fee refund to all the affected MBBS students along with Rs 1 lakh compensation to each student.
The bench also found it to be a case where the Dean of the medical college should be tried with IPC Section 193 i.e. Punishment for false evidence.
Medical Dialogues had extensively reported about the issue at RKDF medical college. The Medical Council of India (MCI) had not granted the 4th renewal of permission to the RKDF Medical College, Bhopal for the academic Year 2017-18 which led to the cancellation of the admissions of the 4th batch of 150 MBBS students for the academic year 2017-18.
This was done due to the irregularities prevailing in the admission process at the hands of the medical college management.
The Supreme Court had made a declaration that MBBS students of RKDF medical college were facing an uncertain future due to the MCI, cancelling the medical college’s affiliation, could be adjusted in other medical colleges of the state. It stated that there were sufficient vacant seats available for student admissions in the state’s medical colleges. The Apex Court urged the High Court to take an early decision in the case lying pending with it regarding the issue.
As a result of the MCI cancelling the college’s affiliation, the 150 students were left rudderless, moving back and forth in an attempt to get admission in other medical colleges of the state.
However, the medical college challenged the decision of the council pointing out to discrepancies in the inspection report
The medical college submitted that the “Assessment Report pursuant to the inspection conducted on 25th and 26th September 2017 was unfair as the justification for the absence of six members of the faculty was not accepted.”
It was further averred in the Writ Petition by the Medical College that there were 365 patients in the hospital at the time of inspection on 25th September 2017 but the inspection team recorded that there were only 7 patients available.
Setting an enquiry into the claims of the medical college, a Committee was constituted by SC comprising a senior officer deputed by the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), as well as two doctors from AIIMS
The committee after going through the inquiry came out with devastating findings on the medical college
- The hard disk that was collected by the Committee to study the details of the patients who were admitted in the hospital prior to January 2018 turned out to be empty and no data could be retrieved.
- The assertion made by the medical College regarding the genuineness of the patients in the hospital turned out to be false in the enquiry conducted by the Committee. The Committee had serious doubts about whether the patients were actually admitted.
- Most of the case sheets, prescriptions, operative notes, etc. appeared to be written by the same person in a very unprofessional manner. The histopathological reports were found to be sketchy and incomplete. On a thorough examination of the case sheets, the experts from AIIMS opined that admission of the patients was unnecessary in a number of cases.
- In view of the fake and incomplete addresses mentioned in the records of the hospital, most of the patients could not be located. Only 21 patients were identified and 8 out of these turned out to be employees/ students of the Medical College.
On the basis of the findings of the Committee, the SC bench observed,
“It is clear that a false statement has been made by the College on the basis of a fabricated document.”
the bench further observed,
“All this goes to show that the College has indulged in large scale malpractices in showing compliance of the minimum required standards to obtain permission for admission of students. The College further tried to mislead this Court that it is compliant in all respects, to get permission for the admission of students.”
“The brazen manner in which the College has indulged in relying upon manipulated records to mislead this Court for the purpose of getting favourable order deserves to be dealt with in a serious manner.”
Apart from the prosecution of the Dean, the bench also held the medical college liable to be suitably punished for committing “perjury”.
On the basis of the report submitted by the committee, the apex court further stated,
“Without delving deep into the details of the Report submitted by the Committee, it is clear that the College is guilty of practicing fraud on this Court. The conduct of the College administration in indulging in manipulations and hoodwinking the authorities to project compliance of the requisite minimum standards for admission of students does not deserve to be condoned. The impunity with which the College has manufactured records to convince us that they were being unnecessarily hounded by the MCI in spite of their compliance with the required standards is deprecated. The brazen attempt by the College in taking this Court for a ride by placing on record maneuvered documents to obtain a favourable order is a clear-cut act of deceit. The justification given by the College regarding the absence of certain residents has turned out to be a concocted story. Had we not initiated an enquiry by the Committee of Experts, the fraud played by the College on this Court would not have come to light.”
The medical college had offered an apology to the apex court which was turned down by the bench which asserted,
“The College has been habitually indulging in foul play which is clear from the course of events in 2015 when faculty members were found to have been working elsewhere and running hospitals. The bravado shown by the College in an attempt to cheat the MCI, the Government and this Court has to be condemned.”
The court further noted that the students who were admitted in the 1st Year MBBS Course in the College for the academic year 2017-18 were duly cautioned and informed that their admission was purely provisional and they cannot claim any equity if the medical College was later on found to be deficient. They have been directed to be admitted in other colleges for the years 2018-19. “However, they are entitled for the refund of the fee collected from them for admission to the College.”
In its conclusion, the bench passed the following order:
“(i) Mr. S.S. Kushwaha, Dean of the R.K.D.F. Medical College Hospital and Research Centre i.e. Petitioner No.2- herein is liable for prosecution under Section 193 IPC. The Secretary General of this Court is directed to depute an Officer to initiate the prosecution in a competent Court having jurisdiction at Delhi.
(ii) The College is barred from making admissions for the 1st Year MBBS course for the next two years i.e. 2018-19 and 2019- 2020.
(iii) A penalty of Rs. Five Crores is imposed on the College for playing fraud on this Court. The amount may be paid to the account of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee.
(iv) The students are entitled to receive the refund of fee paid by them for admission to the College for the academic year 2017- 19. In addition, the College is directed to pay a compensation of Rs. One Lakh to the said students.”
Attached is the detailed judgment below: