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Medical Council of India Vs. Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (01 Jun 2018)

When an expert body certifies that, facilities in a medical College are inadequate, it is not for Courts to interfere with assessment, except for very cogent jurisdictional reasons



In facts of present case, Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt. Ltd. and Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences, Respondent Nos. 1 and 2 herein filed Writ Petition in the High Court seeking a direction to the Appellant to send its Experts' team for the purpose of verifying the compliance of the deficiencies pointed out earlier. They also prayed for a direction to the Appellant to forward its recommendation to the Central Government before 30th April, 2018. They sought a further direction to Respondent No. 3 herein, Union of India to consider the grant of renewal permission on the basis of the recommendations received from the Appellant. The High Court allowed the Writ Petition and directed the Medical Council of India to inspect Respondent No. 2, Medical College and submit a report to the Union of India before 30th April, 2018. Aggrieved thereby, the Appellant Council has filed the above appeal.

The interpretation of Regulation 8(3)(1)(a) of Establishment of Medical College Regulation, 1999 by the High Court is patently erroneous as the High Court did not take note of the proviso to Regulation 8(3)(1). Without a proper examination of the provision, the High Court fell in error in holding that, Regulation 8(3)(1) (a) would be applicable only to the Colleges seeking second renewal i.e. admissions of the third batch. Admissions upto the second renewal i.e. admissions to third batch would fall under Regulation 8(3)(1)(a). In other words, the proviso is not restricted only to second renewal cases. Even the first renewal is covered by proviso (a) to Regulation 8(3)(1) as the language used is "upto second renewal".

There is no conflict between Section 10-A (3) and (4) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 on one hand and Regulation 8(3)(1)(a) on the other. Regulation 8(3)(1) (a) is complementary to Section 10-A of the Act. Fixing minimum standards which have to be fulfilled for the purpose of enabling a Medical College to seek fresh inspection would not be contrary to the scheme of Section 10-A. In fact, Regulation 8(3)(1) provides that, an opportunity shall be given to the Medical College to rectify the defects. But, the proviso contemplates that certain minimum standards are to be satisfied i.e. there should not be deficiency of teaching faculty and/or residents more than 30 per cent and/or bed occupancy should not be less than 50 per cent. This prescription of standards for availing an opportunity to seek re-inspection is not ultra vires either the Regulation or Section 10-A of the Act.

Conclusion reached by the High Court regarding the manner in which inspection was conducted is also not correct. Bed occupancy at 45.30 per cent on random verification was the claim of Respondent No. 1 and 2. However, the inspection report shows that, out of required minimum of 300 patients only 3 were available on 25th September, 2017. Present Court in Medical Council of India v. Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) and Ors. has held that, medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that, the facilities in a Medical College are inadequate, it is not for the Courts to interfere with the assessment, except for very cogent jurisdictional reasons such as mala fides of the inspection team, ex facie perversity in the inspection, jurisdictional error on the part of the M.C.I., etc. The submission relating to the cyclone being a reason for the number of patients being less is not acceptable. The Resident Doctors are required to be in the hospital at all points of time. In view of the large scale deficiencies found in the inspection report and in view of Regulation 8(3)(1)(a), the Respondent No. 1 and 2 are not entitled to claim another inspection. The judgment of the High Court is set aside and the Appeal is allowed.

Relevant : Medical Council of India v. Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) and Ors. MANU/SC/0523/2016: (2016) 11 SCC 530


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