It is the duty of the College to submit the compliance report, after rectifying the deficiencies, MCI can conduct a surprise inspection to ascertain whether the deficiencies had been rectified and the compliance report be accepted or not.
|Case name:||IQ City Foundation & Anr. V/S. Union Of India & Ors.|
|Case number/Citation:||Writ Petition (Civil) No. 502 Of 2017|
|Court:||Supreme Court of India Civil Appellate Jurisdiction|
|Bench:||Hon’ble Justice Dipak Misra, Hon’ble Justice Amitava Roy, Hon’ble Justice A.M. Khanwalikar.|
|Decided on:||August 01, 2017|
|Relevant Act/Sections:||Constitution of India, Art. 32; Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, s. 10-A, 10-A (4), 3B (b).|
- BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
- The petitioners have preferred a writ petition u/a 32 of the Constitution of India hereby praying for issue of a writ of certiorari for quashing of the order dated 31 May 2017 passed u/s 10-A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956by the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- That the IQ City Medical College is attached to the IQ City Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Est. 2013 by the petitioners with an intake of 150seats for MBBS Course. On 15 July, 2013, the Medical Council of India (MCI) conducted an inspection and granted the Letter of Permission (LOP)for the establishment of the new medical college at Burdwan, West Bengal with an annual intake of 150 students w.e.f. the academic year 2013-14.
- Respondent no.1 vide letters dated 04 July, 2014, 10 June, 2015 and 15 December, 2015gave permission for renewals of the 2nd, 3rdand 4thbatchof MBBS for the academic years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively.
- On 06 July, 2016, the college submitted its scheme along with the requisite fees for the 4th renewal for the academic year 2017-18 which pertains to admission of the 5th batch of 150 students in MBBS course. On 09 July, 2016, respondent no 2, informed the college that the assessment for renewal of permission for the 3 academic year 2017-18 would be undertaken and the petitioners were asked to fill in the Standard Inspection Form A, Form B and Declaration Form for the academic year 2017-18 and directed for submission of the soft copies of the said Forms and the petitioners duly submitted a compact disc containing soft copies of Form A, Form B and Declaration Form and upon receipt of the necessary documents.
- The inspection team conducted a surprise inspection on 03 November, 2016 and 04 November, 2016and certain deficiencies were pointed out to the college and submitted the assessment report on 04 November, 2016.
- Due to the deficiencies as per the report, the inspection committee recommended not to give permission for the 4threnewal and the same was communicated to the college vide its letter dated 03 February, 2017 and the college was called upon to submit a detailed report. point-wise compliance with documentary evidence.
- The College was further intimated about the hearing that was to be held on 09 February, 2017 before the Hearing Committee. A Compliance Inspection was done by team and it was submitted in the report that certain deficiencies have been noted. Respondent no. 1, by the impugned order u/s 10-A, IMC Act, 1956,dated 31 May, 2017 rejected the renewal permission and the college alleged that the order dated 31 May, 2017 was communicated to the college on 30 July, 2017 and a counter affidavit was filed as reply by MCI stating the Hearing Committee was constituted by the Central Government and it is the solemn duty of the assessors to ensure that there is no deficiency in the medical college and therefore, the plea that it exceeded the mandate is wholly inconceivable.
- The petitioners have challenged above order hereby praying for issue of a writ of certiorari.
- The petitioner has approached the respondents for permission of renewal of 4th batch which was rejected by MCI u/s 10-A, IMA Act by order dated 31 May, 2017due to deficiencies.
- Aggrieved by the same, the petitioners have preferred a writ petition u/a 32of the Constitution of India hereby praying for issue of a writ of certiorari for quashing of the order dated 31 May 2017 passed u/s 10-A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956by the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT:
- Whether the MCI was correct in dismissing the renewal permission for 4th renewal?
- Whether the present case qualifies for issue of a writ of certiorari u/a 32, Constitution of India?
- RATIO OF THE COURT:
- Mr. Rohatgi, ld. senior counsel for the petitioners submitted that since it was obligatory on the part of respondent to take final decision, he could not have sent back the matter to the MCI. However, Mr. Singh, ld. senior counsel appearing for the MCI, referred to s. 10-A of the Act and submitted that an institution has to maintain consistency in imparting education and where major deficiencies are distinctly evident during compliance verification, an institution cannot be allowed to lean upon the earlier assessment report and it has to remain ever compliant and it cannot be in an oscillating position.
- While looking at the report of the committee and the counter reply filed by the petitioners, the court relied upon Manohar Lal Sharma v. Medical Council of India and others, wherein it was held that “MCI on the basis of the reports, regular and compliance, is legally obliged to form an opinion with regard to the capacity of the college to provide necessary facilities in respect of staff, equipment’s, accommodation, training and other facilities to ensure proper functioning of the medical college or for increase of admission capacity.”
- Thereafter, referring to s. 10-A the court observed that “It is the duty of the College to submit the compliance report, after rectifying the deficiencies, MCI can conduct a surprise inspection to ascertain whether the deficiencies had been rectified and the compliance report be accepted or not.”
- While referring to the Medical Council of India v. Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) and others the court observed: “Medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that the facilities in a medical college are inadequate, the courts are not equipped to take a different view in the matter except for very cogent jurisdictional reasons such as mala fides of the Inspection Team, ex facie perversity in the inspection report, jurisdictional error on the part of MCI, etc. Under no circumstance should the High Court examine the report as an appellate body, this is simply not the function of the High Court”.
- Mr. Rohatgi submitted that the assessors had travelled beyond the order of remand and that singularly makes the inspection perverse and thereby vulnerable. In Manohar Lal Sharma, the court has referred to Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act, 2010 which confers powers on the Board of Governors as per Section 3-B(b).
- The court relied upon the Royal Medical Trust (Registered) and another v. Union of India and another, wherein a three-Judge Bench was dealing with justifiability of the communications issued by the Central Government recommending disapproval of applications preferred in respect of Medical Colleges of the applicants for the academic year 2014-15.
- Upon reading s.10-A of the Act, Rules and the Regulations, that has been referred to in Manohar Lal Sharma and the view expressed in Royal Medical Trust,the court observed that “it would be inapposite to restrict the power of the MCI by laying down as an absolute principle that once the Central Government sends back the matter to MCI for compliance verification and the Assessors visit the College they shall only verify the mentioned items and turn a Nelson’s eye even if they perceive certain other deficiencies. It would be playing possum. The direction of the Central Government for compliance verification report should not be construed as a limited remand as is understood within the framework of Code of Civil Procedure or any other law.”
- The court also relied upon Amma Chandravati Educational and Charitable Trust and others v. Union of India and another wherein the decision was taken within two weeks. The court observed that the decision shall contain reasons.
- DECISION HELD BY COURT:
- Listed the matter on 24th August, 2017, seeking a reply from central government.