SC rejects medical college's cyclone theory

The Supreme Court found as unacceptable a plea made by the college, run by the Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt Ltd, that the number of patients was less on the date of inspection "due to cyclone".

The Supreme Court has rejected a private medical college's plea for direction to the Medical Council of India for carrying out another inspection at its premises to verify the reported large-scale deficiencies found with it.

The top court found as unacceptable a plea made by the college, run by the Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt Ltd, that the number of patients was less on the date of inspection "due to cyclone".

The MCI team had noted that out of the required minimum of 300 patients, only three were available at 10 am on September 25, 2017. The inspection was carried out for the renewal of permission for the admission of students for the academic year 2018-19.

A vacation bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and Mohan M Shantanagoudar set aside the Bombay High Court order on an appeal made by the MCI, which said the minimum requirement of faculty and residents, which is 70%, were also not there.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the Union government, said it is inconceivable that there could be a shortage of 84% teachers and 87% of residents on the date of inspection.

He also stated that a natural calamity such as a cyclone would result in the increase in the number of patients.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, representing the college, sought direction under Section 10A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, saying the inspection was not conducted in a fair manner and the report does not represent the correct picture.

He relied on the prediction of a cyclone, whereby the people of the locality were asked to stay indoors.

He contended that if another inspection was done by the MCI to verify the facilities available in the hospital and the college, it would be able to satisfy the requirements.

The bench, however, said that the court had earlier 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 malafides of the inspection team, ex facie perversity in the inspection, jurisdictional error on the part of the MCI, etc.

"In view of large-scale deficiencies found in the inspection report, the college was not entitled to claim another inspection," the court said.

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SC rejects medical college's cyclone theory

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