If medical students are not equipped to practise the profession, it would pose a serious threat to society. “In case this tendency is continued, a time will come when people start examining the degree before undergoing treatment under a particular medical professional.”

This is what Justice K.K.Sasidharan of the Madras High Court observed while dismissing a writ petition by a private medical college which challenged the Medical Council of India’s order of July 4 this year, rejecting the institution’s application for renewal of permission for 2013-14.

The petitioner, Madha Medical College and Hospital, represented by its Chairperson, Loodhuammal Educational Trust, T. Nagar, said the institution was recognised as a minority institution. The petitioner commenced the college on the strength of the MCI’s permission. While so, a surprise inspection was conducted by an expert team constituted by MCI, on March 11 and 12 this year. After observing the formalities, the MCI passed an order on July 4 rejecting the application for extension of permission for 2013-14.

The counsel contended that none of the alleged discrepancies would be sufficient to reject the application.

Referring to a college’s defence that there was a bandh on March 12 and it shifted/removed the patients to other hospitals, Mr. Justice Sasidharan said this explanation was clearly an afterthought. In case, the petitioner was not able to treat the patients on the bandh dates, it should explain as to how other hospitals in Chennai would have been able to give treatment. The bandh was not confined to Thandalam, on the city’s outskirts, where the college was located. It was a State-wide bandh. The political parties had clearly announced that hospitals, milk supply and other essential services would be exempted. The inspection team’s report contained minute details of deficiencies. The college was expecting advance notice even to conduct a surprise inspection.

The expert team found several deficiencies that would seriously affect the college’s capacity to impart medical education and training the future medical officers. The court could not exercise the power of judicial review to sit on an appeal over the team’s report and the related decision of MCI.

The Supreme Court in a judgment had observed that there was mushrooming growth of ill-equipped, understaffed and unrecognised educational institutions in the country. The matter involved the future of a noble profession. The inspection team’s report spoke volumes about the functioning of the institution. The MCI had not committed any procedural violation in the matter. Material available on record supported the MCI’s order, Mr. Justice Sasidharan said.

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