New Delhi: The Supreme Court today set aside a Bombay High Court order directing the Medical Council of India (MCI) to inspect a medical college, where “large-scale deficiencies” were found during an inspection last year, for granting renewal for admission in academic year 2018-2019.
A bench comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and M M Shantanagoudar allowed the appeal filed by the MCI, which had challenged the high court’s order asking it to carry out the inspection and submit a report to the Centre before April 30.
The apex court referred to one of its previous judgment, in which it had held that medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that facilities in a medical college were inadequate, it was not for the courts to interfere with the assessment except for reasons like mala fides of the inspection team or others.
“In view of the large-scale deficiencies found in the inspection report dated September 25, 2017 and September 26, 2017…the respondent no. one and two (Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt Ltd and Vedantaa Institute of Medical Sciences) are not entitled to claim another inspection,” the bench said.
“For the aforementioned reasons, the judgment of the high court is set aside and the appeal is allowed,” it said.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the MCI, had argued in the apex court that in view of deficiencies found in the inspection conducted last year, there was no question of an opportunity being given to the institute to rectify these deficiencies.
The counsel appearing for the institute and college had argued that inspection was not conducted in a fair manner and the committee’s report does not represent the correct picture.
The Centre had told the apex court that standards fixed by the MCI were the bare minimum and have to be strictly complied with to ensure maintenance of basic minimum standards of medical education.
The Centre had issued a letter of permission in May last year to the institute to admit the first batch of 150 students for the academic year 2017-2018.
The inspection for granting the first renewal for admission of students for academic year 2018-2019 was conducted by an MCI panel on September 25 and 26 last year.
After several deficiencies were pointed out, MCI’s executive committee decided to recommend to the Centre to invoke the Establishment of Medical College Regulation, 1999 and disapprove the application of institute for renewal of permission of MBBS course second batch for academic year 2018-2019.
The matter then reached the high court which held that inspection conducted by the committee was not fair.