Court Directs three medical colleges to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to students of under-graduate and Rs 2 lakh to the PG students.
Chennai: Putting an end to the age old harassment of the medicos, who are denied registration by the Medical Council of India (MCI) on grounds that they have taken their medical degrees from “deficient” medical colleges, the Madras High Court in a landmark decision has directed the MCI to penalise the colleges for infrastructural deficiencies but not the medicos.
The case pertains to the medical graduates who had completed three year PG medical education from ESI Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, Puducherry in various courses including MD (General Medicine), MD (General Surgery), MD (Pediatrics), MD/MS.(OBG) and MD (Anesthesia).Based on Letter of Permission (LoP), these colleges commenced PG courses in the institutions and the students joined and successfully completed the courses. However, the MCI finding infrastructural deficiencies in these colleges refused to give recognition to their degrees and following the same the Tamil Nadu Medical Council denied registrations to these pass outs.
Extremely harmed by this decision, the doctors filed a writ petition with the TN High Court, where a single judge bench passed order in favour of the medicos. However, challenging the decision, MCI filed an appeal with a higher bench, MCI filed the appeal stating that the medical colleges had not rectified all deficiencies pointed out by it and their PG degrees could not be included in the first schedule to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The bench dismissed however, dismissed the appeal of the council noting
…. we are pained to notice that without rectifying or remedying the deficiencies, the medical institutions are allowed to go ahead and permit their students to complete the course of study. The MCI is required to act in time and not to wait till the very last minute when the students would be left with very little time or chance to enjoy the benefits… The students cannot be subjected to the humiliating experience of waiting in the wings for years together….,”
The bench giving further relief to the students, directed the deficient medical colleges to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to students of under-graduate and Rs 2 lakh to the PG students.
….If the various measures and options followed by the MCI are not producing desired results, perhaps time has come to evolve a legal principle and fasten accountability on the medical college/institution concerned. The power to do so is clearly available both under Sections 17 and 19 of the [MCI] Act of 1956….
Whenever any medical institution allows the students to complete their education without remedying the deficiencies pointed out by the committee of inspectors appointed by the MCI, such institutions shall be imposed compensatory costs, so that if not for fear of God, they would comply with the requirements prescribed by the MCI fearing loss of money.
Setting the said norm for future cases as well, the court stated that the state government could recover the costs, imposed by the MCI, annually from the defaulting medical colleges through the Director of Medical Education and disburse the amount to the students concerned as a measure of compensation after deducting ₹10,000 with respect to every undergraduate student and ₹ 25,000 each from the postgraduate students
The money so withheld by the State government shall not be appropriated by it for any other purpose but must be exclusively spent for upgrading the infrastructure in one or more than one medical college administered by it