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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Medical college permission - Writ to quash the letter dated 13.07.2013 issued by the Medical Council of India by which the permission granted for renewal of admission for additional intake of students for the academic session 2013-2014 was revoked.= The Medical Council Act, 1956, especially Section 10A, mandates that when a new medical college is to be established or the number of seats to be increased, the permission of the Central Government is a pre-requisite. Section 19A obliges the MCI to prescribe minimum required standards for medical education and the recommendation made by MCI to the Central Government carry considerable weight, it being an Expert Body. MCI had prescribed the regulation – “Minimum Standard Requirements for the Medical College for 100 Admissions Annually Regulations, 1999” which is germane for our case, was published in the Gazette of India dated 29.1.2000. In order to verify the minimum requirements, MCI gets the inspection conducted by Inspectors, who are experts, submit their reports on the availability of the staff - teaching and residents - and other infrastructural facilities, clinical availability, etc. as per the regulations.= “The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical Educational Institutions and University Bill, 2010” has already been presented to both the Houses of Parliament. It is reported that the States have welcomed such a legislation, but no further follow up action has been taken. We are confident, earnest efforts would be made to bring in proper legislation, so that unethical and unfair practices prevalent in higher technical and medical institutions can be effectively curbed in the larger public interest. 43. We, therefore, find no good reason to invoke Article 32 of the Constitution of India and none of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the petitioners stand violated. The Petition, therefore, lacks merits and is dismissed.

                            published in    http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40735                             
    REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION


                    WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.585 OF 2013






      Rohilkhand Medical College &
      Hospital, Bareilly                                    …. Petitioner


                                   Versus


      Medical Council of India & Another                 … Respondents








                               J U D G M E N T






      K.S. Radhakrishnan, J.




      1.    The petitioners have invoked the extraordinary  jurisdiction  of
      this Court conferred under Article 32 of the Constitution of India  to
      quash the letter dated 13.07.2013 issued by  the  Medical  Council  of
      India by which the permission granted for  renewal  of  admission  for
      additional intake of students for the academic session  2013-2014  was
      revoked.


      2.    Rohilkhand Medical  College  and  Hospital  was  established  by
      Rohilkhand Educational Charitable Trust in the year 2005.  
The Medical
      College started the first M.B.B.S. Course during the year 2006-07 with
      an annual intake of 100 seats for which permission was  granted  under
      Section 10A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956  (for  short  “the
      IMC Act) by the Central Government.    
Later, the Medical  Council  of
      India (for short “the MCI”) granted  recognition  to  the  College  to
      award  M.B.B.S.  Degree  granted  by  M.J.P.  Rohilkhand   University,
      Bareily, U.P.  The College is also  conducting  post-graduate  courses
      during the year 2011-12.


      3.    Permission was granted under Section 10A  of  the  IMC  Act  for
      admitting the second batch of 100 students in the year  2007-08.  
The
      College later submitted an application for  extension  of  renewal  of
      permission for the admission of 3rd batch of 100 seats of M.B.B.S. for
      the academic year 2008-09 to the MCI.
The MCI  after  processing  the
      application constituted a medical team for inspection of the  College.
      The team conducted the inspection on 1st and 2nd April, 2008.  The -
      MCI team then submitted its report to the Secretary, MCI, New Delhi on
      02.04.2008.  The MCI team pointed out the  following  deficiencies  in
      the College as per the MCI Regulations:
      “There was a shortage of teaching faculty by 21.05% (24  out  of  114)
      and residents by 37.03% (30 out of 81) As under:
              a) Professor – 4
              b) Associate Professor – 13
              c) Asstt. Professor – 3
              d) Tutor – 4
              e) Sr. Resident – 16
              f) Jr. Resident – 14”




      4.    The MCI team also noticed that OPD attendance  on  the  date  of
      inspection was only 421 as against the minimum requirement of  850-900
      and OPD bed occupancy was only 55% as against the minimum  requirement
      of  83-85%.   The  MCI  team  inspection  report,  as  per  the  Board
      Regulation, was placed before the Executive Committee in  its  meeting
      held on 14.04.2008 and  it  intimated  its  decision  to  the  Central
      Government not to renew the permission for the admission  of  the  3rd
      batch of students for the academic session for the year 2008-09,  vide
      its letter dated 16.04.2008.  A copy of the letter was  also  sent  to
      the Principal of the College with a request to submit  the  compliance
      in respect of the deficiencies pointed out  by  the  MCI  team  on  or
      before 30.04.2008.


      5.    The College later submitted its “compliance  report”.   The  MCI
      again constituted a team to examine whether the College had  rectified
      the deficiencies pointed out by the MCI  team.   The  MCI  team  again
      conducted an inspection on 20.05.2008 and submitted its report to  the
      MCI.
The report pointed out the following deficiencies :
      “(1) There was a shortage of teaching faculty by 18% (22 out  of  110)
      and Residents by 5% (5 out of 82) as under:
              a) Professor – 6
              b) Associate Professor – 12
              c) Asstt. Professor – 4
              d) Tutor – NIL
              e) Sr. Resident – 3
              f) Jr. Resident – 2
                ii) The OPD attendance  on the date of inspection  was  only
                    691 against the minimum requirement of 850-900.
               iii) IPD bed occupancy was only 55(74%) against  the  minimum
                    requirement of 83-95%.”


      6.    The MCI inspection report was later placed before the  Executive
      Committee of MCI in its meeting  held  on  13/14-06-2008  and  it  was
      decided by the Committee not to renew the permission for the admission
      of 3rd batch of students for the academic year 2008-09.  The Executive
      Committee’s decision was communicated to the Central  Government  vide
      its letter dated 14.06.2008.
The then Under  Secretary,  Ministry  of
      Health and Family Welfare,  New  Delhi  on  19.06.2008  forwarded  the
      letter received from the MCI to the College requesting to  submit  the
      compliance  in  respect  of  the  deficiencies  pointed  by  the   MCI
      inspection team.  The College then forwarded the compliance report  to
      the Secretary, MCI vide its letter dated 24.06.2008.  The College also
      sent another letter dated 01.07.2008 to  the  Secretary,  Ministry  of
      Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi  stating  that  the  deficiencies
      pointed out by the MCI team  were  of  minor  nature  and,  therefore,
      requested to grant necessary permission by the Central Government  for
      admission of the 3rd batch for the academic year 2008-09.


      7.    The Chairman of the Roholhand Medical College  and  Hospital  on
      03.07.2008 sent a letter to the Health Minister, Government  of  India
      requesting to grant necessary permission and the  Central  Government,
      for admission of the 3rd batch, followed  by  yet  another  letter  on
      04.07.2008 to the Secretary, Ministry of Health  and  Family  Welfare,
      New Delhi.


      8.    We notice, following the letter received by the Minister as well
      as the Secretary, the Central Government constituted  a  team  of  two
      doctors to carry out the  compliance  verification/inspection  of  the
      College.  The central team conducted the  verification  inspection  on
      11.07.2008 and submitted its report to the Deputy Secretary,  Ministry
      of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi on  10.07.2008.   The  central
      team pointed out the following deficiencies:
      “(i) The shortage of teaching staff was found more than 11% (13 out of
       116) as under:
              a) Professor
              b) Associate Professor – 7
              c) Asstt. Professor – 2
              d) Tutor – NIL
              e) -
              f) Sr. Resident – 1
              g) Jr. Resident – 1
      (ii)  The faculty members holding same  post  were  getting  different
      salaries.  Some of faculty  members  were  getting  less  salary  than
      resident doctors.  Some of the Junior Residents were old in age.  Some
      of Sr. Residents presented with their declaration forms seemed  to  be
      specialists doing private practice, as they  were  in  the  town  much
      before the inception of the College/Institution.  Some of the area and
      buildings were under construction, which was not advisable in  working
      in working areas.”


      9.    The then Under Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,
      New Delhi then sent a letter dated 27.07.2008 to the Chairman  of  the
      College requesting him not to admit any fresh batch of  MBBS  students
      for the academic year  2008-09.   The  College  was  also  advised  to
      rectify the deficiencies and send compliance report for  consideration
      for the academic year 2009-10 for further admission.


      10.   The Chairman of the College  then  filed  a  Writ  Petition  (C)
      No.294 of 2008 before this Court which was clubbed with other  similar
      writ petitions filed by other medical colleges.  This Court passed  an
      order on 03.09.2008 directing the MCI to submit its recommendations to
      the Central Government within two days  and  Ministry  of  Health  and
      Family Welfare  was  directed  to  consider  the  issue  of  grant  of
      permission within a week.  Further  it  was  also  directed  that  the
      College be given an opportunity of being  heard  by  the  Ministry  of
      Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi.


      11.   The MCI, in the meantime, conducted yet  another  inspection  of
      the College on 19.08.2008 and the MCI team submitted its report to the
      Secretary, MCI again pointing out the following deficiencies:
      “(i) The shortage of teaching staff was found to be 23.68% (27 out  of
      114):-
           Professor – 3
           Associate Professor -13
           Asstt. Professor - 5
           Tutor – 5
      (ii)  The shortage of resident was found to be 20.9% (17 out of 81):-
           Sr. Resident – 5
           Jr. Resident – 12”


      12.   The MCI report was then placed before  the  Executive  Committee
      and the MCI in its meeting held on 21.08.2008, decided to  inform  the
      Central Government not to renew the permission for  admission  of  the
      3rd batch of students for the academic year 2008-09.  The decision  of
      the Executive Committee was communicated  to  the  Central  Government
      vide its letter dated 04.09.2008 with reference to the order passed by
      this Court on 03.09.2008 in Writ Petition (C) No.294  of  2008,  filed
      the College.


      13.   The Under Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,  New
      Delhi then sent a letter dated  09.09.2008  to  the  Chairman  of  the
      College to appear before the Deputy  Secretary,  (Medical  Education),
      Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi on  10.09.2008  along
      with the compliance report and other documents mentioned in the  order
      passed by this Court on 03.09.2008.  The Chairman of the College  then
      appeared, as directed, on 10.09.2008.  The Under  Secretary,  Ministry
      of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi then issued a  letter  to  the
      Chairman of the College intimating that after  considering  the  facts
      submitted by the College at the  time  of  personal  hearing  and  the
      recommendations of the MCI, it was decided  by  the  Ministry  not  to
      grant renewal of  permission  for  admission  of  3rd  batch  of  MBBS
      students for the academic year 2008-09.


      14.    The  Chairman  of  the  College  then  vide  his  letter  dated
      12.09.2008, addressed to the Secretary, Medical Education, Ministry of
      Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi requested him to grant permission
      for 50 students  of  MBBS  for  the  academic  session  2008-09.   The
      Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi again  constituted  a
      central team and deputed the team to inspect the College and submit  a
      report by 25.09.2009  positively.   The  two  doctors  then  conducted
      inspection of the College on 25.09.2008 and submitted  the  report  on
      26.09.2008 to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare  on  the  same
      day.  On the basis of that report  the  Central  Government  issued  a
      letter dated 26.09.2008 according sanction for renewal  of  permission
      for admission of 3rd batch of 100 students for the academic year 2008-
      09.


      15.   On receipt of the said letter dated 12.09.2008 from the Chairman
      of the College, the Under Secretary, Ministry of   Health  and  Family
      Welfare, wrote a letter on 24.09.2008 to the Secretary, MCI requesting
      to  furnish  their  recommendations  regarding  reduced  intake.   The
      Secretary,  MCI,  in  turn,  intimated  that  on  the  basis  of   the
      deficiencies pointed out by the MCI team during the inspection of  the
      College on 19.08.2008 the College was grossly lacking facilities  even
      for admission of 50 students.


      16.   MCI team, it is  seen,  constituted  yet  another  Committee  to
      conduct an inspection of the College on 01.10.2008 and  a  report  was
      submitted  to  the  MCI  on  the  same  day   pointing   out   various
      deficiencies.  The report was submitted to the Executive Committee  of
      MCI in its meeting  held  on  06.10.2008  and  the  Committee  took  a
      decision to inform the Central Government not to renew the  permission
      for the academic year 2008-09  and  urge  the  Central  Government  to
      recall the  letter  of  permission  dated  26.09.2008  issued  to  the
      College.  The decision of the  Executive  Committee  of  the  MCI  was
      communicated  to  the  Central  Government  vide  its   letter   dated
      06.10.2008.


      17.   We  have  noticed  that  the  Central  Government  had  accorded
      approval for 3rd batch of 100 students for the academic  year  2008-09
      on 26.09.2008, despite the repeated negative recommendations  made  by
      the MCI and before the grant of permission on 26.09.2008, the MCI  was
      not even consulted.  We have indicated the facts to show the situation
      that prevailed in the year 2008-09 and the manner in which  permission
      was accorded for intake of 100 students by the Central Government.


      18.   The MCI, following its decision taken on  04.06.2013,  vide  its
      letter dated 20.06.2013 decided to convey its approval for renewal  of
      permission  for admission  for  the  second  batch  of  MBBS  students
      against the increased intake i.e. from100 to 150 seats to the  College
      for the academic year 2013-14.  The approval was granted  taking  into
      consideration of the assessment report dated  26/27-02-2013  submitted
      to the Board of Governors of MCI subject to certain  conditions  which
      are extracted herein below:
           “I am further directed to inform that you and  your  institution
           are fully responsible to fulfill and  maintain  norms  including
           the infrastructure both physical and  human  resource,  teaching
           faculty and clinical  material,  etc.  throughout  the  academic
           year, as stipulated in Regulation of Medical Council  of  India.
           In case false/wrong declaration  or  fabricated  documents  have
           been used for procuring permission of the Board of Governors for
           the increased intake and  the  said  misconduct  is  brought  to
           notice or comes to the knowledge of MCI at any stage during  the
           current academic year, your institution  is  not  liable  to  be
           considered for renewal of permission  against  increased  intake
           for the next  academic  year  and  this  renewal  of  permission
           against the increased intake for the next academic year and this
           renewal of permission  against  the  increased  intake  is  also
           liable to be revoked for current academic year.  Besides, MCI is
           entitled  to  take  all  such  measures  against  you  and  your
           college/institution as permissible under the law.”


      19.   The MCI, in the meantime, received a confidential  letter  dated
      11.07.2013 from the Central Bureau of Investigation  (for  short  “the
      CBI”) informing that  the  CBI  has  registered  a  case  against  the
      Chairman of the College and officers of the  Ministry  of  Health  and
      Family Welfare, New Delhi under Section 120B  IPC  and  Section  13(2)
      read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption  Act,  1988
      (for short “the PC Act”).  Charge-sheet was also enclosed  along  with
      the letter, which was placed before the Board of Governors of the  MCI
      in its meeting  held  on  12.07.2013.   The  Board  then  revoked  its
      decision dated 04.06.2013 and communicated the  same  to  the  College
      vide its letter dated 20.06.2013.  The Board of Governors of  the  MCI
      informed the College  that  the  letter  of  permission  accorded  for
      renewal of  admission  of  the  2nd  batch  of  students  against  the
      increased intake i.e. from 100 to 150 for the  academic  year  2013-14
      would stand revoked with immediate effect.


      20.   The legality of that decision, as already indicated, is the main
      issue that arises for consideration in this writ petition.


      21.   Shri Mukul Rohtagi, learned senior  counsel  appearing  for  the
      petitioners submitted that the letter dated  13.07.2013  revoking  the
      permission granted for admission for the  increased  intake  was  mala
      fide and in violation of the principles of natural  justice.   Learned
      senior counsel submitted that a right has already been accrued to  the
      petitioners by virtue of the decision taken by the MCI on  04.06.2013,
      which  was  communicated  to  the  College  vide  its   letter   dated
      20.06.2013.  Learned senior counsel submitted that such a decision was
      validly taken on the inspection report dated  26/27.02.2013.   Learned
      senior counsel submitted that since the College has complied with  all
      the conditions stipulated in the Regulations  and  that  there  is  no
      deficiency,  as  reported  by  the  inspection  team,  there   is   no
      justification in revoking the permission already  granted,  that  too,
      without giving the petitioners an opportunity of being heard.  Learned
      senior counsel  also  submitted  that  mere  fact  that  the  CBI  has
      registered a case against few officers of the Ministry of  Health  and
      Family Welfare, New Delhi and also against the Chairman of the College
      is not a ground at all to revoke the permission  already  granted  for
      the additional intake of students for the academic year 2013-14  since
      the College has satisfied all the requirements under  the  Regulations
      for Establishment  of  Medical  College  Regulations,  1999.   Learned
      senior counsel also submitted that even though  the  Chairman  of  the
      College has been charge-sheeted, that itself is not a ground to revoke
      the letter of permission accorded by the Board of Governors, unless he
      has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction in a  criminal
      investigation.  Learned senior counsel made a reference to Regulations
      3(5) of the “Enhancement of Annual Intake Capacity  in  Under-graduate
      Courses in Medical College  for  the  Academic  Session  2013-14  Only
      Regulation, 2013 (for short “the Regulation 2013).


      22.   Shri Amrendra Sharan, learned senior counsel appearing  for  the
      students submitted that on the basis of the decision of the MCI  dated
      20.06.2013, 21 students have already secured admission in the  College
      by 10th July,  2013,  since  they  were  allotted  the  College  after
      successfully competing the U.P. Combined Medical  Entrance  Test  (for
      short “the UPCMET) and the decision taken by  the  MCI  on  13.07.2013
      would have serious consequences so far as the students  are  concerned
      since they would not be able to get admission  in  any  other  private
      institution for this  academic  year.   Learned  senior  counsel  also
      submitted that the College  has  facilitated  as  per  the  University
      Grants Commission (UGC) Regulations and there is no  justification  in
      not permitting the students  to  continue  with  their  study  in  the
      College even if there was some infirmity in the  grant  of  permission
      granted by the Central Government for the additional intake during the
      year 2008-09.


      23.   Shri Amit Kumar,  learned  counsel  appearing  for  the  Medical
      Council of India, on the other hand, justified the decision  taken  by
      the MCI on 13.07.2013.  Learned counsel submitted that the MCI has the
      power to revoke its earlier decision taken on 04.06.2013 if sufficient
      materials have been brought to its knowledge which have  got  a  vital
      bearing in the matter of conduct of courses in the  College.   Learned
      counsel also submitted and referred to the letter dated 20.06.2013 and
      pointed out that permission was accorded subject to certain conditions
      and those conditions have  been  violated  by  the  College.   Learned
      counsel submitted that as per clause 8(3)(1)(d) of  the  Establishment
      of Medical Regulations (Amendment 2010 Part II), the MCI has  got  the
      power not to renew the permission/recognition, if it is observed later
      that any institute is found to have acted  on  fake/forged  documents,
      such  an  institute  could  not   be   considered   for   renewal   of
      permission/recognition for the post-graduate courses for two years i.e
      for the academic year and the next academic  year  also.   Hence,  the
      decision taken by the  MCI  revoking  the  letter  of  permission  for
      renewal of  admission  of  the  2nd  batch  of  students  against  the
      increased intake from 100 to 150 students for the academic year  2013-
      14 was justified.


      24.   We may notice with  concern  the  unprecedented  growth  of  the
      Technical and Medical Institutions in this country which has  resulted
      in widespread prevalence of various unethical practices.    Collection
      of large amount by way of capitation fee running into crores of rupees
      for MBBS and Post-Graduate seats, exorbitant  fee,  donation  etc,  by
      many of such self financing institutions,  has  kept  the  meritorious
      financially poor students away from those institutions.  Pressure,  it
      is also seen, is being  extended  by  various  institutions,  for  the
      additional intake of students, not  always  for  the  benefit  of  the
      student community and thereby serve the community, but for  their  own
      betterment.


      25.   We are not commenting upon the acceptability, or  otherwise,  of
      the charges leveled against the Minister, bureaucrats or the  Chairman
      of the College.  But the fact remains, the  CBI  after  conducting  an
      investigation had to charge-sheet them under Section  120B,  468,  471
      IPC and Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of the PC Act.  CBI’s
      investigation prima facie establishes the criminal conspiracy  between
      the Chairman of the College and the then Union Minister of Health  and
      Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi  along  with  the  then
      Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family  Welfare,  New  Delhi,
      two doctors, one is  the  head  of  Nephrology  VMMV  and   Safdarjung
      Hospital and  the  other  is  Professor  of  Department  of  Community
      Medicine, VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi which  lead  to  the
      issuance of the order passed for the additional intake of 50  students
      for the academic year 2008-09 on 26.09.2008.  For the  prosecution  of
      both the doctors  necessary  prior  sanction  was  obtained  from  the
      competent authority by the CBI.


      -
      26.   The CBI, in its charge-sheet, points out serious infirmities  in
      the  report  submitted  by  the  central  team,  which  conducted  the
      inspection of the College on 25.09.2008, which are as follow:
           “The above chart clearly proves that accused Dr.  Vindu  Amitabh
           and accused Dr. S.K.Rasania were party to the larger  conspiracy
           and they deliberately by way of limiting the shortage of faculty
           to 2% in their report; had glossed over the glaring deficiencies
           in the strength of the faculty members (15% i.e. 17 out of  115)
           and  thereby,  facilitated  the  private  College   in   getting
           permission of the Central Govt.


                 Their involvement in the  criminal  conspiracy  is  further
           established by the fact that during the inspection they did  not
           ask the faculty members as to  whether  they  (faculty  members)
           were full timers or part-timers/merely called  to  make  up  the
           members for the purpose of inspection.   The  investigation  has
           established that at least 5 doctors, namely, Dr.  Harbeer  Singh
           Sodhi, Dr. Anil Madan, Dr. Birendra Kumar Sinha,  Dr.  Jamaludin
           and Dr. Shiv Nath Banerjee, who have been  shown  as  full  time
           faculty members and  residents  in  the  records  of  Rohilkhand
           Medical College, Bareily during 2008, have confirmed  that  they
           had never worked as full-timers in the said College during 2008,
           but were rather, visiting faculty.  These facts prove  that  the
           inspection report of accused Dr. Vindu Amitabh and  accused  Dr.
           S.K. Rasania was perfunctory and biased in favour to the private
           Medical College.


                 The investigation further disclosed that accused Dr.  Vindu
           Amitabh and accused Dr. S.K. Rasania have claimed to  have  done
           personal inspection of the -
                 wards and the departments.   In  their  inspection  report,
           they mentioned that the presence (of patients in the OPDs of all
           Departments was good, the bed occupancy was about 90%  and  that
           the  ICU  was  full  to  its  capacity.   However,  during   the
           investigation , physical verification of 14 patients,  who  were
           shown present in the OPD registers on the  date  of  inspection,
           i.e. 25.09.2003, was got conducted through the Postal Deptt.  on
           the random basis.  It was revealed that 09 of them were fake  or
           non-existent.  The claim of the accused doctors of  the  Central
           Team of having done personal inspection of  the  wards  and  the
           departments, which was one of the  important  criteria,  on  the
           basis of which they gave a green signal  to  the  College,  thus
           turns out to be devoid of merit and a falsehood.


                 The investigation further revealed that  the  Central  Team
           comprising of accused Dr. Vindu Amitabh  and  accused  Dr.  S.K.
           Rasania  has  stated  in  its  report  that  it   accepted   the
           photocopies of the declaration  forms,  submitted  to  MCI,  for
           verification.  During the investigation, it  has  been  revealed
           that declaration forms are provided by  the  College  concerned,
           include  details  of  all  faculty  members,  their  educational
           qualification,  appointment  letter,  identification   documents
           (like PAN card, etc.) documents in support of their residence in
           the Medical College (like ration card, in order to certify their
           being permanent faculty members there).


                 During the investigation, 5 so called faculty members  (Dr.
           Harbeer Singh Sodhi, Dr. Anil Madan, Dr. Birendra  Kumar  Sinha,
           Dr. Jamaludin and Dr. Shiv Nath Banerjee) have stated that  they
           used to be called only for the inspections of the said  College.
           They were at best, visiting faculty members.  Incidentally,  the
           MCI rules have not provision for part-timers or visiting faculty
           members.  Though the -
                 said  5  doctors  have  owned  their  signatures  on  their
           Declaration Forms, they have denied  receiving  the  appointment
           letters shown to be annexed with  their  respective  declaration
           forms.  They have also stated that the ration cards, residential
           certificates, Form-16 (Income Tax) etc.  shown  as  having  been
           issued in their names, were never given to  them.   Besides,  it
           has been found that they are all bogus/fake and forged, as  they
           (the doctors) were neither resident on the  addresses  shown  in
           the records nor had they ever applied for any ration card.   The
           District Supply Officer, Bareilly has denied their issuance  and
           confirmed that the said ration cards are fake and forged.  It is
           pertinent to mention that the fake ration cards have  been  used
           by the College authorities to falsely establish before  the  MCI
           Inspectors that th said doctors  were  their  permanent  faculty
           members.  Similarly no Form-16 was ever issued to  them  by  the
           College.


                 The investigation further disclosed that  in  case  of  the
           aforesaid doctors, the appointment letters were issued in  their
           name by the College authorities without their knowledge and  the
           details of appointments do not even bear the signatures of their
           doctors/employees of the College in the acceptable column.  This
           proves the fabrication and use  of  (forged)  documents  by  the
           College authorities, for the purpose of obtaining  the  approval
           of Govt. of India on the  recommendations  of  MCI/Central  Team
           deputed by GOI.  However, the accused  doctors  i.e.  Dr.  Vindu
           Amitabh and Dr. S.K. Rasania of the Central Team in pursuance of
           the criminal conspiracy did not confirm the genuineness  of  the
           documents  put  up  by  the  College  authorities  and   without
           verifying the documents accepted photocopies of the  Declaration
           Forms and furnished a positive report in favour of  the  College
           on the very next day.  It is pertinent to mention  that  despite
           mentioning about the presence -
                 of such doctors, who were even practicing in  Bareilly  and
           the non-production of the  original  appointment  letters,  even
           when asked for, the said Central Team still went ahead to give a
           clean chit to the College. ”




      27.   We can also take judicial notice of the fact that many  a  times
      the medical colleges and engineering colleges  and  others  are  being
      established after availing large amounts by  way  of  loans  from  the
      financial institutions and other borrowings, with no  funds  of  their
      own, and once the college gets approval  and  students  are  admitted,
      loan availed of is being repaid from the capitation fee  charged  from
      the students and ultimately  that  amount  constitute  their  capital.
      Many a times, even without any sufficient facilities they put pressure
      on the various agencies and the Central Government  and  get  approval
      overlooking  the  regulatory  authority,  like  MCI,  which  adversely
      affects the  quality  of  medical  education  in  this  country.   For
      instance, the MCI has taken in the instant case a consistent view  and
      sent negative reports to the Central Government, but  overlooking  all
      the reports submitted by the MCI, the Central Government got a  report
      of its own and granted permission vide its  letter  dated  26.09.2008.
      CBI in its charge-sheet has categorically and  clearly  reported  that
      this was done on the basis of bogus, fake  and  forged  records.   CBI
      noticed that the  college  authorities  had  produced  fabricated  and
      forged documents before the inspection team and  the  team  failed  to
      verify  the  correctness  or  otherwise  of  those   documents.    CBI
      investigation has revealed  that  fraud  has  been  practiced  by  the
      Central team as well as the college to get the sanction  for  the  3rd
      batch of MBBS students for the academic year 2008-09.


      DUTY OF INSPECTION TEAM:


      28.   The Medical Council Act, 1956, especially Section 10A,  mandates
      that when a new medical college is to be established or the number  of
      seats to be increased, the permission of the Central Government  is  a
      pre-requisite.   Section 19A obliges  the  MCI  to  prescribe  minimum
      required standards for medical education and the  recommendation  made
      by MCI to the Central Government carry considerable weight,  it  being
      an Expert Body.  MCI had prescribed the regulation – “Minimum Standard
      Requirements for the  Medical  College  for  100  Admissions  Annually
      Regulations, 1999” which is germane for our case, was published in the
      Gazette of India dated 29.1.2000.  In  order  to  verify  the  minimum
      requirements, MCI gets the inspection conducted by Inspectors, who are
      experts, submit their reports on  the  availability  of  the  staff  -
      teaching  and  residents  -  and  other  infrastructural   facilities,
      clinical availability, etc. as per the regulations.


      29.   We notice, in this case, constantly on all  the  occasions,  the
      MCI Team decided to recommend to the Central Government not  to  renew
      permission for admission of the third batch for the academic year 2008-
      09.   Consistent stand of the MCI  was  communicated  to  the  Central
      Government on various occasions, but without even  ascertaining  their
      view, a Central Team  was  appointed,  got  a  favourable  report  and
      permission was accorded by the Central Government for the  year  2008-
      09, which was the subject matter of CBI investigation.


      30.   We have now to examine the legality of decision of the MCI taken
      on 13.07.2013 in the light of the above factual  and  legal  scenario.
      We  have  already  indicated  that  when  sanction  was  accorded   on
      20.06.2013 it was categorically stated by the MCI that  the  same  was
      accorded subject to certain conditions.  It was stated therein that in
      case false/wrong declaration or fabricated documents  have  been  used
      for procuring permission of the Board of Governors  of  the  increased
      intake and if said misconduct was brought to the notice  or  comes  to
      the knowledge of the MCI, at any stage  during  the  current  academic
      year  (2013-14)  institution/college  would  not  be  liable   to   be
      considered for renewal of the permission against increased intake  for
      the next academic year and that  renewal  of  permission  against  the
      increased intake for the  academic  year  2013-14  and  for  the  next
      academic year and the same would be liable to be revoked.


      31.   Having received the letter of the CBI as  well  as  the  charge-
      sheet the impugned order  dated  13.07.2013  was  issued  by  the  MCI
      revoking the letter of permission granted for the academic year  2013-
      14.


      32.   We are of the view that the above decision taken by the  MCI  is
      in accordance with the Establishment of  Medical  Colleges  Regulation
      (Amendment 2010 Part II).  The above-mentioned Regulation  was  issued
      by the MCI in exercise of its powers under Section 33 of the IMC  Act,
      1956 with the previous sanction of the Central Government.
Clause 8.3
      of the Regulation deals  with  the  Grant  of  Permission,  sub-clause
      8(3)(1)(d) deals with the colleges which are found  to  have  employed
      teachers with faked/forged documents.  Those provisions are  extracted
      herein below:
           “8(3)(1)(d)  Colleges which are found to have employed  teachers
           with faked/forged documents:


           If it is observed that any institute is found to have employed a
           teacher with  faked/forged  documents  and  have  submitted  the
           Declaration Form of such a teacher, such an institute  will  not
           be considered for renewal of permission/recognition for award of
           M.B.B.S. degree/processing  the  applications  for  postgraduate
           courses for two Academic Years – i.e. that Academic Year and the
           next Academic Year also.


           However, the office  of  the  Council  shall  ensure  that  such
           inspections are not carried out at least 3 days  before  upto  3
           days after important religious and festival holidays declared by
           the Central/State Government.”




      33.   Learned senior counsel for the petitioner, as already indicated,
      submitted that only if the Chairman of the College is convicted  by  a
      court of competent jurisdiction in a criminal investigation then  only
      the sanction accorded could be revoked.  Such an argument  was  raised
      relying upon 2013 Regulations, which in our view, would not  apply  to
      the facts of this case.  Regulation 3 of  Regulations  2013  reads  as
      follow:
           “3.  Eligibility to make application : (1)  the  application  for
           enhance  of  annual  intake  capacity  in  the  existing  Medical
           Colleges may be made by the recognizations that have  established
           the Medical College to the Board of Governors in supersession  of
           the Medical Council of India.   The  format  of  application  for
           Government  and  non-governmental  owned   Medical   College   is
           prescribed in Schedule I appended to these Regulations.


           (2)  Only such existing Medical Colleges  shall  be  eligible  to
           apply under these Regulations that enjoy  minimum  ten  years  of
           standing from the date of grant of initial letter  of  permission
           by the Central Government and the MBBS qualification  awarded  by
           them stands included in the First Schedule of the Indian  Medical
           Council Act, 1956 (Act No.102 of 1956).


           (3)  The Medical Colleges with an annual intake of 50 or more but
           below 100 MBBS seats shall be eligible to apply for  enhance  for
           annual intake capacity to 100, as one-time measure.


           -
           (4)  The Medical Colleges with an annual intake of  100  or  more
           but  below  150  MBBS  seats  shall  be  eligible  to  apply  for
           enhancement for  annual  intake  capacity  to  150,  as  one-time
           measure.


           (5)  Such Medical Colleges that have not been granted  letter  of
           permission by the Board of  Governors  in  Super-session  of  the
           Medical Council of India in accordance with clause 8(1)(3)(d)  of
           the Establishment of Medical Colleges Regulations, 1999 (notified
           in the Official Gazette on 16.04.2010) and/or the person who  has
           established the Medical College has been convicted by a Court  of
           Competent jurisdiction in a criminal investigation  initiated  by
           the Central Bureau of Investigation or Police.”




       34.  Clause (2) of Regulation 3 clearly states that only such medical
      colleges shall be eligible under these Regulations that enjoy  minimum
      10 years of standing from the date  of  grant  of  initial  letter  of
      permission by the Central Government.  So far  as  the  petitioner  is
      concerned,  they  have  completed  only  eight  years,   consequently,
      Regulations 2013 would not apply to them.


      35.    The  petitioners  are  governed  by  Establishment  of  Medical
      Colleges Regulations, (Amendment), 2010 (Part II),  especially  clause
      8(3)(1)(d), in the event of which, when MIC finds that the college has
      employed fake/forged documents for renewal of -
      permission/recognition  for   processing   applications   etc.,   that
      institute will not be able to be considered for renewal of permission/
      recognition  for award of MBBS Degree/ processing the application  for
      post-graduate courses for two academic years i.e. that  academic  year
      and the next academic year.  In this case, CBI letter was received  on
      11.07.2013 by the MCI and it was placed before the Board of  Governors
      on 12.07.2013 and  the  revocation  order  was  passed  on  13.07.2013
      revoking the renewal of permission  for  the  2nd  batch  of  students
      against the increased intake from 100 to 150 students for the academic
      year 2013-14.


      36.   We are of the considered view that the MCI need  not  wait  till
      the culmination of the trial initiated on the  basis  of  the  charge-
      sheet filed by the CBI.  The investigation by a  premier  agency  like
      the CBI has prima facie revealed that the college has  used  fake  and
      forged materials to get sanction for the intake for the year  2008-09,
      in our view, that  is  sufficient  for  the  MCI  to  take  action  in
      accordance with the Regulations 8(1)(3)(d) of Regulations 2013.


      37.   We are also not impressed by the argument raised by Mr. Amrendra
      Sharan, learned senior counsel appearing for the  students  that  they
      have  already  joined  the  course  on  10.07.2013.   The  information
      brochure issued by the UPCMET refers  to  two  important  dates.   The
      important dates are the date of results declaration as 15.06.2013  and
      counseling would start after 15.07.2013.  If that be so,  we  fail  to
      see how students could be admitted on 10.07.2013.   Counsel,  however,
      made reference to the newspaper ‘Dainik Jagran’ where it is  indicated
      that the first counseling would be on July 5, 2013.   We  cannot  give
      sanctity to that news  items  compared  to  the  information  brochure
      published by the U.P. Unaided Medical Colleges Welfare Association for
      the conduct of UPCMET.  Even otherwise, in our view, once the  medical
      council finds that the sanction had been obtained on the basis of fake
      and forge documents, clause 8(3)(1)(d) kicks in and the fraud unravels
      everything.   We make it clear that the criminal  case  charge-sheeted
      by the CBI will, however, be disposed of uninfluenced by observations,
      if any, made by us in this judgment.


      COURT’S CONCERN
      38.   We think, this is an apt occasion to ponder over whether we have
      achieved the desired goals, eloquently highlighted by the Constitution
      Bench judgments of this Court in T.M.A. Pai Foundation and  others  v.
      State of Karnataka and others  (2002) 8 SCC 481 and P.A.  Inamdar  and
      others  v. State of Maharashtra and others (2005) 6 SCC 537.  TMA  Pai
      Foundation case (supra) has stated that there is nothing wrong if  the
      entrance test being held by self financial institutions or by a  group
      of institutions but the entrance test they conduct should satisfy  the
      triple test of being fair, transparent and not exploitative.  TMA  Pai
      Foundation (supra) and Inamdar  (supra)  repeatedly  stated  that  the
      object of establishing an  educational  institution  is  not  to  make
      profit and imparting education is charitable  in  nature.   Court  has
      repeatedly said that the common entrance  test  conducted  by  private
      educational  institutions  must  be  one  enjoined   to   ensure   the
      fulfillment  of  twin  object  of  transparency  and  merits  and   no
      capitation fee be  charged  and  there  should  not  be  profiteering.
      Facts, however, give contrary picture.  In  Inamdar,  this  Court,  in
      categorical terms, has declared that no capitation fee be permitted to
      be charged and no seat can be permitted to be appropriated by  payment
      of capitation fee.


      39.   The CBI’s investigation,  however,  reveals  a  sorry  state  of
      affairs, which  is  an  eye-opener  for  taking  appropriate  remedial
      measures in future so that medical  education  may  attain  the  goals
      envisaged by the IMC Act and the Regulations and serve the  community.
      CBI had to charge-sheet none other than the  then  Union  Minister  of
      Health and Family Welfare, itself which  depict  how  the  educational
      system in this country is deteriorating.  Many  of  regulatory  bodies
      like MCI, AICTE, UGC etc. were also under serious clout in the  recent
      years.  CBI, in the year 2010, had to arrest the President of the  MCI
      for accepting bribe to grant recognition to  one  Medical  College  in
      Punjab.  Later, it is reported that the CBI found that  the  President
      of the MCI and its family members  possessed  disproportionate  assets
      worth of 24 crores.    We have referred to  these  instances  only  to
      indicate the falling  standards  of  our  educational  system  at  the
      highest level, sometime even at the level of  the  Central  Government
      making a serious inroad  to  the  right  to  life  guaranteed  to  the
      citizens of the country under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.




      40.   Mushrooming of large number of medical, engineering, nursing and
      pharmaceutical colleges, which has definitely affected the quality  of
      education in this country, especially in the medical field which  call
      for serious introspection. 
Private  medical  educational  institutions
      are always demanding more number  of  seats  in  their  colleges  even
      though many of them have  no  sufficient  infrastructural  facilities,
      clinical materials, faculty members, etc.  Reports appear in every now
      and then that many of the private institutions  which  are  conducting
      medical colleges are demanding lakhs and sometimes  crores  of  rupees
      for MBBS and for post-graduate admission in their respective colleges.
       Recently, it is reported that few MBBS seats  were  sold  in  private
      colleges of Chennai.  
We cannot lose sight  of  the  fact  that  these
      things are happening in our country irrespective of the constitutional
      pronouncements by this Court in TMA Pai Foundation  that  there  shall
      not be any profiteering or acceptance of capitation fee etc.   
Central
      Government, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Central  Bureau  of
      Investigation or the Intelligence Wing have to take effective steps to
      undo such unethical practices or else self-financing institutions will
      turn to be students financing institutions.


      41.   We notice that the current policy of the Central  Government  in
      the higher education is  to  provide  autonomy  of  institutions,  but
      adoption of unfair practices is a serious violation of  the  law.  Few
      States, like  Karnataka,  Tamil  Nadu,  Andhra  Pradesh,  Maharashtra,
      Kerala,  Delhi  etc.  have  passed  some   legislation   to   prohibit
      demand/collection  of  capitation  fee  which  have  no   teeth,   the
      institutions who indulges in such practices can  get  away  by  paying
      some fine, which is meager.


      42.    We,  therefore,  emphasise   the   extreme   necessity   of   a
      Parliamentary Legislation for curbing these unfair practices, which is
      the demand of our society. 
“The Prohibition  of  Unfair  Practices  in
      Technical Educational Institutions, Medical  Educational  Institutions
      and University Bill, 2010” has already  been  presented  to  both  the
      Houses of Parliament.  
It is reported that the  States  have  welcomed
      such a legislation, but no further follow up action  has  been  taken.
      We are confident, earnest efforts would be made  to  bring  in  proper
      legislation, so that  unethical  and  unfair  practices  prevalent  in
      higher technical and medical institutions can be effectively curbed in
      the larger public interest.


      43.   We, therefore, find no good reason to invoke Article 32  of  the
      Constitution of India and none of the fundamental rights guaranteed to
      the petitioners stand violated. The Petition, therefore, lacks  merits
      and is dismissed.
                                                               ……………………….…J.
                                                        (K.S. Radhakrishnan)


                                                               ………………………….J.
                                                                (A.K. Sikri)
      New Delhi,
      September 06, 2013


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