MCI obtains stay against disclosure of info on Desai

Ex-chief of council held by CBI in 2010 for graft

MCI obtains stay against disclosure of info on Desai
The Medical Council of India has obtained a stay from the Delhi High Court against a CIC ruling on the disclosure of records pertaining to its tainted former president Ketan Desai. The top medical education regulator received the stay on March 22 on the ground that petitioner seeking the information under the RTI Act is a US-citizen.

The MCI also argued that since the information sought is spread over 2,800 files, it was not possible for the council to provide the information in the format as sought by the petitioner Kunal Saha, an Indian origin doctor settled in the USA.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) in February directed the MCI to disclose information under the Right to Information Act on the legal proceedings against Desai, who is facing two cases on corruption and bribery charges. The transparency panel gave its ruling after hearing the lawyers from both sides.

The MCI’s counsels argued that neither Saha nor the non-governmental organisation (President for Better Treatment) he created are eligible to receive information under the RTI Act.

Earlier, in a separate case, West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) refused to share information with Saha on the same plea, but the state council’s arguments were turned down by the Supreme Court in 2007.

“Although I am an overseas citizen of India (OCI), the WBMC refused to provide me information under the RTI Act in 2007 on the ground that I’m not a citizen of India, the SC held that as an OCI, I am eligible to obtain information under the RTI Act, following which the WBMC was compelled to provide me the requested information,” he said.

Desai, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2010, has been selected as the new president of the World Medical Association on the basis of the clean chit given by some of the MCI members, who did not seem to have been provided the correct facts on the corruption cases involving Desai to the international body.

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