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Delhi HC Directs Centre To Consider IGNOU's Plea Seeking Recognition Of Its PG Diploma Course Under The IMC Act [Read Judgment]

Karan Tripathi
21 Sep 2019 5:46 AM GMT
Delhi HC Directs Centre To Consider IGNOU
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Delhi High Court has directed the central government to consider the application of IGNOU seeking recognition of a PG Diploma course offered by it, under section 11(2) of the Indian Medical Council Act.

The present writ petition was filed to seek an amendment to the Schedule of Indian Medical Council Act for in order to enter Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Cardiology (PGDCC), as awarded by IGNOU, as a recognised qualification.

The Petitioner had made the following submissions before the court:

  1. PGDCC students are already trained MBBS doctors and no laymen to the science of treatment of patients
  2. The qualifications and competence of the members of the petitioner-Association are unimpeachable.
  3. PGDCC course is modeled on pattern similar to DNB (Cardiology) Course which is recognised by the respondents under the IMC Act, 1956 without any permission thereof under Section 10A of the said Act.
  4. PGDCC-holders have often been asked to manage Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in hospitals, and have been posted as medical Officers in-charge of ICUs, empowered to conduct non-invasive cardiac procedures.

Medical Council of India, on the other hand, submitted in its counter-affidavit that IGNOU had commenced the PGDCC course in blatant violation of the applicable rules and regulations and that, therefore, there could be no question of according any recognition to the said course.

MCI also cited the judgment of the Supreme Court in Medical Council of India v. State of Karnataka, (1998) 6 SCC 131 to highlight that regulations framed by MCI in consonance with the central government are mandatory and binding, and have pre-eminence over any State enactment, rule or regulation, in relation to the conduct of medical courses.

Further, it was also argued that IGNOU, not being a medical college established with the prior permission of the Central Government under Section 10A of the IMC Act, could not have sought permission for the commencement of any Postgraduate Medicine Course.

The Petitioner, in its written submission, countered the aforementioned claim by submitting that Section 11 of the IMC Act did not require the University, or medical institution, seeking recognition of a course conducted by it, to take prior permission of the Central Government, or of MCI, before starting the course.

The court rejected the MCI's argument regarding IGNOU not seeking central governments permission under section 10A before starting the course by opining that at the time of commencement of the course, the PGDCC qualification was not a "recognised medical qualification", as it did not figure in any of the Schedules to the IMC Act. There was no requirement, therefore, for the IGNOU to obtain prior permission of the Central Government, before starting the said course.

While perusing the regulations framed under the IMC Act, the court noted that the IMC act does not contemplate, at any point, recognition of an institution. Rather, it's mandate is to recognise a qualification.

The court, therefore, quashed the decision of the MCI of not considering the application of IGNOU seeking recognition of the PGDCC course provided by it. The ground put forward by the MCI that IGNOU had not obtained prior permission of the Central Government, under Section 10A of the IMC Act, doesn't stand the scrutiny of the statute.

The central government is also directed to again consider the application of IGNOU seeking recognition of the aforementioned course under section 11(2) of the IMC Act.

The Petitioner was represented by Mr Raju Ramachandran and Mr Kapil Sibal while MCI was represented by Mr Vikas Singh 

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