Tamil Nadu

Courses offered by medical varsity without MCI nod illegal, says HC

The first Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday confirmed an order passed by a single judge of the court in June last declaring as illegal a host of courses offered by Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University without obtaining necessary approval as required under Section 10(A) of the Indian Medical Council (MCI) Act of 1956.

Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad concurred with the decision taken by Justice S.S. Sundar, who had restrained the university from continuing the illegal courses either directly or through medical colleges affiliated to it. The Bench recorded the submission of MCI counsel V.P. Raman that it had not approved the courses.

However, the Bench struck off the costs of ₹5 lakh imposed by the single judge on the State-run university for having run medical courses in violation of the law, along with a directive to pay the money within four weeks to the School Education Department so that it could be used for improving the infrastructure of needy government schools.

Giving reasons for striking off the order imposing costs, which had not been paid since the university preferred an appeal, Chief Justice Sahi said it only appeared that the varsity had conducted those courses not with a mala fide intention but only on a misconception that it could offer such courses without the approval of the Union Health Ministry and the MCI.

Apart from the directive related to imposition of costs, “we find no reason to take a different view than what had been taken by the learned single judge... There is no material to find fault with the findings of the learned single judge,” the Bench said while dismissing the writ appeal preferred by the university last year and pending since then.

Ruling upheld

Justice Sundar had declared the courses illegal while allowing a writ petition filed by Doctors’ Welfare Association of Tamil Nadu (DWAT), represented by its general secretary K. Srinivasan, in May last year. The judge agreed with the petitioner’s counsel, P. Ebenezer Paul, that even a State-run university should follow the requirements of a Central law.

In its petition, the association had urged the court to prevent the university from offering one-year fellowships in HIV medicine, occupational health, clinical immunology, palliative medicine and sexual medicine.

It wanted the university to be prevented from offering two-year courses in medical genetics, critical care medicine, clinical diabetology, ultrasound (obstetrics and gynaecology) or any other unauthorised PG degree, diploma, certificate or fellowship in medical sciences course for which an MBBS degree is the requirement for admission.

Opposing the writ petition, the university had claimed that the courses were started only after clearance by its governing council and that it was empowered to offer the courses in medical sciences, depending on the need for such courses, even without obtaining the approval of the Centre or the MCI.

Rejecting the contention, the judge had said Central enactments would prevail over State laws and that a Division Bench of the High Court in Dr. V. Balaji versus Union of India (2008) had stressed upon the need for every medical course to have been approved by the Centre and MCI.


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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 5:32:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/courses-offered-by-medical-varsity-without-mci-nod-illegal-says-hc/article30994777.ece

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