Students, employees rage legal battles against Gian Sagar Medical College
Patiala: Lawsuits are increasing against the authorities at controversial Gian Sagar Medical College as new 25 cases have been filed recently on top of the over 500 already filed this past year. On the basis of the filed petitions with the Chandigarh Consumer Forum, notices have been issued to the authorities.
Medical Dialogues has extensively reported about the shutdown and revival of Gian Sagar Medical College and Dental College. The Medical Council of India (MCI) and Dental Council of India (DCI) withdrew the recognition of dental and medical college of the Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust. The medical institutes were shut down in February 2017.
This had been done in the absence of the trust management coming up with any concrete revival plan for the institute facing a financial crisis. The government at that time also announced the shifting of medical and dental students to other medical institutions operating across the state.
Following this, the government at that time announced the shifting of around 1,500 UG and PG medical students of the Medical College to other medical institutions operating across the state to complete the remaining years of their courses.
However, with the trust management being not paid the salaries of its employees, protests had already intensified in April 2017. Their salaries had been pending since October 2016.
The state health department had clarified that time that the students were the only responsibility of the state government, as they were admitted through state held medical tests, while it was the management of the private medical college, which had hired the employees, and had shirked paying salaries to them. Thereby, implying the onus of responsibility for it lay with the management and not the government.
Over a year later in July 2018, Department of Medical Education and Research (DMER), Punjab, had granted provisional essentiality certificate to the Gian Sagar Medical College and Dental College for filling 100 MBBS and 100 BDS seats respectively, and the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), a provisional consent of affiliation to the medical institute.
But the cases against the medical college authorities did not stop. While the faculty filed for salary clearance, the PG Medicos sought their due stipend and MBBS students filed various petitions seeking a refund of their security money.
The security amount was charged to the MBBS students for medical college tuition, library and hostel at the time of admission in 2014. The students took admission through centralised counselling conducted by BFUHS. After the transfer to other medical colleges, the students requested for release of the outstanding security amount, which was refundable as reflected in the receipts issued at the time of depositing the amount. However, medical college authorities delayed the process on one pretext or the other.
StuSpeaking to TOI recently, Advocate Pardhuman Garg, who had been fighting in the court on behalf of all the petitioners against the medical college said; "I have filed more than 500 cases before Chandigarh consumer court for refund of security amount of MBBS, dental, nursing and physiotherapy students. Of these, 100 cases are pending."
He also informed that 200 cases have been filed before the educational tribunal on behalf of employees for their pending salary, gratuity and provident fund for the period they served in the institute. "We also lodged an FIR under relevant sections against the institute," he said.
He further informed that he had filed 25 more cases recently and notices have been issued by the district consumer disputes redressal forum, UT. 20 fresh cases were filed against them in the educational tribunal after authorities terminated services of employees without giving them their outstanding dues during the lockdown. Till date, Gian Sagar authorities have paid more than Rs 1.5 crore and 800 students are yet to get their money refunded. The due amount is around Rs 3 crore, Garg said.