CBI can't probe colleges under MCI: Madras HC

In a setback to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Madras High Court has ruled that the investigative agency has no rights to probe the internal matters of any medical institution within the purview of the Medical Council of India (MCI).

Quashing the charges against the administrators of a medical college and dismissing the CBI’s petitions opposing the discharge of officials of two other medical colleges, Justice Aruna Jagadeesan said: “Contravention of rules and regulations may be an offence against the statute but is not a crime. There is no room or jurisdiction for any external agency to investigate the affairs of any medical institution coming within the purview of the Medical Council of India.”

According to the case, the three colleges — Puducherry-based Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute near Chengalpet and Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research — faced CBI probe for allegedly forging documents and parading faculty members who did not exist on their payrolls. The judge said, “The shortfall in faculties and submissions of fake/forged documents would only disentitle the institution from getting renewal or permission. Also, the errant doctors would be dealt with accordingly by the MCI.”

Stating that errant doctors would face expulsion from the state medical register and the guilty institutions would lose recognition, the judge also said such contraventions could not be considered a crime punishable under provisions of the Indian Penal Code or Prevention of Corruption Act.

The judge noted that neither the MCI nor the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, who are the actual aggrieved parties, lodged any complaint. None of the doctors who are alleged to have filed declaration forms before the MCI, stating that they worked with these institutions, had been cited as accused persons, he added.

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