SC refuses to intervene in plea against Lodha panel

September 07, 2016 01:36 am | Updated July 28, 2019 06:38 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to intervene on allegations raised by Vyapam whistleblower Dr. Anand Rai against the apex court-appointed Oversight Committee led by former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha, accusing it of over-stepping its assigned job of monitoring the work of Medical Council of India (MCI).

A Bench led by Justice Anil R. Dave instead asked Rai to knock on the panel’s door with his grievances.

‘No fresh inspection’ The petition alleged that the Committee overshot the MCI and Health Ministry’s disapproval of hundreds of applications made by medical colleges without conducting any “fresh” inspection or assessment.

It claimed that the panel, in August, granted recognition, allowed colleges to increase student intake, and also extended the time schedule, enabling colleges to remove the deficiencies based on which the MCI had recommended disapproval of their applications.

The Committee was formed in May 2016 by a Constitution Bench led by Justice Dave, which had invoked the apex court’s rare and extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to set up a three-member committee, headed by Justice Lodha, to oversee the functioning of the MCI for at least a year.

The 165-page verdict had endorsed a Parliamentary Standing Committee report of March 2016 that the medical education and profession in the country is at its “lowest ebb” and suffering from “total system failure” due to corruption and decay.

The Bench even called the petitioner, Mr. Anand Rai, to the front of the courtroom to ask him about his interest in the matter.

When the latter broke down in court, the Bench told him to not get emotional and said it just wanted to verify certain details from him.

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