Telangana HC extends stay on Medical Council elections, tells State to reduce number of nominated persons
Hyderabad: With the State failing to explain the logic behind its decision to reduce the number of elected representatives from 13 to 5, but not reducing the number of seats in the nominated quota, Telangana High Court has sought a fresh affidavit from the Government and extended the stay on conducting elections to the executive committee of Telangana State Medical Council (TSMC).
As per the ratio, there should be only two representatives under nominated quota, when the elected quota is reduced to five members. However, the government did not reduce the number of representatives in the nominated quota as per the ratio.
While warning that the court would direct to decrease the nominated members if the government did not reduce it proportionally, a division bench including Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy has given a last chance to the state to do so.
The issue cropped up after the State Health Department issued a Government Order reducing the elected representatives in the council. However, the order to change the composition of the governing council of the TSMC was challenged in a petition filed by a petition filed by DrB. Arundati and others.
As per the petitioners, the governing council, which presides over the administrative affairs of the doctors, has 13 posts of members to be elected by the doctors and six posts for nomination through the state.
"The number of nominated members was not reduced. This will tilt the balance in favor of the state in running the council," the plea had contended.
"While the number of nominated members was left untouched, whoever wins the popular vote will also be rendered helpless because the number of nominated members will dominate the elected members," it added.
The counsel for the petitioners had further contended that the action of the state was in contravention of section 3(2) of the AP Medical Practitioners Act.
Meanwhile, the counsel for the State had contended that section 101 of the AP Reorganisation Act empowered them to reconstitute the council. "We reduced the representation of elected medical doctors because after the bifurcation of the state, the number of doctors remaining in Telangana has also come down," he had said.
However, the court had expressed its dissatisfaction over the submission by the State and had observed that by reducing the numbers of the directly elected members of the council, the State was not only trying to have a say in the affairs of the professional body of the council, but it was also trying to make sure that only the say of the Government would prevail.
It had further sought to know why the numbers of nominated members too were not brought down proportionately. Mentioning that the case was not lacking the question of power but the basic rationale, the HC bench had asked the Government to file a counter-affidavit with justifications and had posted the matter for June 17.
In its fresh hearing on June 17, the bench sought particulars of the strength of the council in united AP and now, while stating that the counter filed by the authorities lacked the basic details.
To this, the state counsel said the combined number of doctors registered was 97,000 and now the number of doctors who remained in Telangana is 47,000.
However, the bench reminded him that he had earlier put the current strength of doctors at only 16,000, reports Times of India.
Wondering if the state government is helping those who want to remote control the Telangana State Medical Council (TSMC), the high court has asked the government to explain why its counter has serious discrepancies on the number of doctors currently practicing in the State after registering themselves with the TSMC.
Not finding valid ground on the government's contentions in keeping the nominated representatives to six, the court cautioned that it would direct to decrease the nominated members if the government did not reduce it proportionally.
Subsequently, it has sought a fresh affidavit from the government and extended the stay on elections till August.
The case has been adjourned to August 5, reports Deccan Chronicle.