Fixing Minimum Standards For A Medical College To Seek Fresh Inspection Not Illegal: SC [Read Judgment]
This prescription of standards for availing an opportunity to seek re-inspection is not ultra vires either the Regulation or Section 10-A of the Act, the bench said.
The Supreme Court in Medical Council of India vs. Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence Pvt. Ltd., has held that fixing minimum standards which have to be fulfilled for the purpose of enabling a Medical College to seek fresh inspection would not be contrary to the scheme of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.
In this case, while ordering re-inspection in a Medical College, the High Court had observed that Regulation 8 (3) (1) proviso (a) of the Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999 is not applicable to the case of the Medical College, as it was the first renewal. It observed that Regulation 8 (3) (1) (a) would be applicable only to the Colleges seeking second renewal i.e. admissions of the third batch.
Terming such an interpretation ‘patently erroneous’, the bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar observed that even the first renewal is covered by proviso (a) to Regulation 8 (3) (1) as the language used is “upto second renewal”
The Bench said: “We do not see any conflict between Section 10-A (3) and (4) of the Act on one hand and Regulation 8 (3) (1) (a) on the other. Regulation 8 (3) (1) (a) is complementary to Section 10-A of the Act. Fixing minimum standards which have to be fulfilled for the purpose of enabling a medical College to seek fresh inspection would not be contrary to the scheme of Section 10-A. In fact, Regulation 8 (3) (1) provides that an opportunity shall be given to the Medical College to rectify the defects. But, the proviso contemplates that certain minimum standards are to be satisfied i.e. there should not be deficiency of teaching faculty and/or residents more than 30 percent and/or bed occupancy 12 should not be less than 50 percent. This prescription of standards for availing an opportunity to seek re-inspection is not ultra vires either the Regulation or Section 10-A of the Act.”
Allowing the appeal by Medical Council of India, the bench said the Colleges are not entitled to claim another inspection in view of the large-scale deficiencies found in the inspection report. It reiterated that 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 mala fides of the inspection team, ex facie perversity in the inspection, jurisdictional error on the part of the M.C.I., etc.Read the Judgment Here