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Sunday, July 19, 2015

whether the failure of the Central Government to exercise such discretion can be held to be erroneous and contrary to law and whether a positive direction can be issued by this court to consider the applications of the petitioners particularly at the fag end of the statutory time schedule.” 7. Prima facie, therefore, we are of the view that in the facts and circumstances of the case, the respondents have not discharged their duty in accordance with the provisions of the Act and Rules made thereunder rather acted in a biased manner. 8. We, therefore, dispose of this application with a direction to the respondent Medical Council of India to consider the application and make its recommendation within a period of three weeks from today. 9. Let the matter be listed after four weeks to enable the respondents to submit the recommendation in a sealed cover.

                                                                  Reportable
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL  APPELLATE JURISDICTION


               SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO.14838 of 2015

PONNAIYAH RAMAJAYAM INSTITUTE OF
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TRUST            Petitioner(s)

                                   Versus
|MEDICAL COUNCIL OF INDIA                                        |
|AND ANOTHER                                                     |
|Respondent(s)                                                   |



|                                                         |
|M.Y. Eqbal, J.:                                          |


                                  O R D E R

      We have heard Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, learned senior counsel appearing  for
the petitioner and Mr. Vikas Singh, learned  senior  counsel  appearing  for
respondent no.1 – Medical Council of India (MCI).

2.    The challenge in this special leave petition is the impugned  judgment
passed by the Delhi High  Court  allowing  the  writ  appeal  filed  by  the
respondent MCI whereby the Division Bench of the High Court  set  aside  the
judgment passed by the learned Single Judge in the writ petition.

3.    The dispute arose  only  when  the  proposal  of  the  petitioner  for
establishment of new medical college  for  the  academic  year  2015-16  was
returned on the ground that the same was not submitted  before  the  cut-off
date i.e. 31.8.2014.



4.    Indisputably, the petitioner as far back  as  on  25.8.2014  submitted
application as required under Section 10A  of  the  Indian  Medical  Council
Act,  1956  for  the  establishment  of  the  Institute.   The  Essentiality
Certificate was issued by the State of Tamil Nadu only  on  28.8.2014.   The
said communication was received by the petitioner only in the  1st  week  of
September, 2014.  Similarly, the Tamil Nadu MGR University  granted  Consent
of Affiliation for starting  of  MBBS  Degree  course  in  the  new  medical
college.  On receipt of this communication, the  petitioner  immediately  on
10.9.2014   submitted   Essentiality   Certificate   and   Certificate    of
Affiliation.  Curiously enough after about a month, the  respondent  no.2  –
Central Government rejected the application on the ground that  Essentiality
Certificate was not submitted before the cut-off date i.e. 31.8.2014.



5.    Aggrieved by the said rejection of application, the  petitioner  filed
writ petition being W.P. No.7424 of 2014.  The learned Single Judge  of  the
High Court by a detailed judgment and order allowed the  writ  petition  and
directed the respondent no.1 MCI to consider the  case  of  the  petitioner.
Instead of doing so, the respondent no.1  being  dissatisfied  assailed  the
said judgment of the learned Single Judge by filing writ appeal.   The  said
appeal was heard and disposed of on 5th  May,  2015.   The  Division  Bench,
after giving reasons, refused to uphold the direction issued by the  learned
Single  Judge  for  processing  the  application  of  the   petitioner   and
consequently the direction was set aside.



6.    From the aforesaid facts narrated in brief, we do not find any  fault,
laches or negligence from the side  of  the  petitioner  in  the  matter  of
submission of application and other required documents.  As  noticed  above,
although the Essentiality Certificate and Certificate  of  Affiliation  were
filed on 10.9.2014, but after  a  month  application  was  rejected  by  the
Central Government merely on the ground that  the  same  was  not  submitted
before the cut-off date i.e. 31.8.2014.  This reason given  by  the  Central
Government is highly  unjustified.   The  Division  Bench  in  the  impugned
judgment also took note of the fact and  held  that  the  rejection  of  the
application merely on the ground that the said documents were not  submitted
along with application would not be  proper  since  such  pedantic  approach
serve no purpose.  For better appreciation, paragraph  39  of  the  impugned
judgment is quoted hereinbelow:

“39. However, when the deficient documents are available  with  the  Central
Government  as  on  the  date  of  consideration  of  the  applications  for
reference to the MCI for  their  recommendations,  it  appears  to  us  that
nothing precludes the Central Government to  consider  the  applications  on
merits. Rejection of the applications in such circumstances  merely  on  the
ground  that  the  said  documents  were  not  submitted  along   with   the
applications may not be proper since such pedantic approach does  not  serve
any purpose.  Therefore,  we  too  agree  that  the  Central  Government  in
appropriate cases may exercise the discretion in favour  of  the  applicants
and consider the applications which are complete  in  all  respects  by  the
date  of  consideration  under  Section  10A(2)  of  the   MCI   Act.   Such
consideration in our considered opinion cannot be  found  fault  with  since
the same would not affect the adherence  to  the  statutory  time  schedule.
However, the question with which we are concerned in  the  present  case  is
whether the failure of the Central Government to  exercise  such  discretion
can be held to be erroneous and contrary  to  law  and  whether  a  positive
direction can be issued by this court to consider the  applications  of  the
petitioners particularly at the fag end of the statutory time schedule.”



7.    Prima facie, therefore, we are of the  view  that  in  the  facts  and
circumstances of the case, the respondents have not  discharged  their  duty
in accordance with the provisions of  the  Act  and  Rules  made  thereunder
rather acted in a biased manner.



8.    We, therefore, dispose of this application with  a  direction  to  the
respondent Medical Council of India to consider  the  application  and  make
its recommendation within a period of three weeks from today.



9.    Let the matter be listed after four weeks to  enable  the  respondents
to submit the recommendation in a sealed cover.





                                                              …………………………….J.
                                                                (M.Y. Eqbal)



                                                              …………………………….J.
                                                               (C. Nagappan)
New Delhi
July 15, 2015














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