Appellant produced documents to prove that the selection for the Dean of B.J. Medical College, Pune, was illegal as the said post was reserved for disabled quota; No action has been taken by the MCI or SMC - CIC: President (MCI) to take appropriate action
The appellant sought information on two points regarding status and action taken on his complaint dated 12.08.2013, addressed to Chairman, MCI and e-mails dated 28.07.2013, 04.08.2013 & 12.08.2013.
Relevant facts emerging during hearing:
The appellant is present at NIC, Pune and heard through video conference while the respondent is present before the Commission in person. The appellant filed an RTI application dated 28.08.2013, seeking the above information. Having received no response from the CPIO within the prescribed time period, the appellant filed first appeal on 29.09.2013. CPIO vide letter dated 10.10.2013 informed the appellant that copy of the said complaint was forwarded to the Registrar, Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC), Mumbai, vide their letter dated 22.07.2013. Having received no reply from the FAA, appellant filed second appeal before the Commission.
The appellant at the outset stated that the CPIO did not reply within the prescribed time limit and even after 40 days of the filing of the RTI application, the CPIO replied to him stating that the said complaint was forwarded to the Maharashtra, Medical Council, Mumbai on 27.07.2013, for necessary action. He stated that till today he has not received any response against his first appeal. The appellant further stated that the information sought by him is of public interest as the matter relates to the risk to the lives of patients due to wrong and illegal recognition given by the MCI violating the rules for which the senior officials are responsible. The respondent stated that since the complaint filed by appellant was against a hospital, which is under the Maharashtra Medical Council, therefore, they had forwarded the said complaint to Maharashtra Medical Council for necessary action and the same was intimated to the appellant as well.
The appellant stated that till date, he had not received any response from the Maharashtra Medical Council as to what action has been taken on the complaint filed by him. On a query by the Commission as to whether the MCI, New Delhi can access information from MMC, Mumbai, the respondent answered in affirmative and submitted that as a regulatory body they can access the information from MMC and in normal course they pursue the cases which are forwarded to state medical councils. Unfortunately, in this particular case, they have not done so.
After hearing the appellant and on perusal of the record, the Commission directs the respondent to submit written submission clearly stating the charter/MOU between MCI, New Delhi and State Medical Councils demonstrating their role in the cases of the complaints against the hospitals under the purview of the state medical councils, along with the present status of the present complaint. The written submission should reach the Commission positively by 16th February, 2015, with copy to the appellant.
The hearing is adjourned to 23th February, 2015 at 10.30 Hrs
Relevant facts emerging during hearing: 23.02.2015
Respondent through their written submission contended, among others, that the IMC Act does not provide for the constitution and composition of the State Medical Council. The State Medical Councils are independent legal entities and are neither subordinate nor subsidiary organ of the MCI. The limited relationship primarily exists in the maintenance of Indian Medical Register (IMR) and the code of medical ethics. The registration in IMR can take place either through receipt of reports from the State Medical Council or on an application by a person possessing a recognized medical qualification after such person has obtained registration with the State Medical Council. MCI has to maintain such register, revise it from time to time and publish it in the Gazette of India. It is the medical practitioner enrolled on the SMR/IMR upon whom the jurisdiction by the Medical Council of India can be exercised. Hospitals as such do not come under the regulatory ambit of the MCI. However, the Council as regulator of minimum standards of medical education verify the staff and infrastructure in the teaching hospital of the medical colleges falling within the purview of the IMC Act, 1956. Being bestowed with the distinct legal personality by a statute the MCI and the SMC are independent entities and the MCI does not exercise any supervisory role/jurisdiction over the SMCs. The limited relationship primarily exists in the maintenance of IMR and the code of medical ethics. The respondent further submits that the interim order of the Commission along with the file was placed for consideration of the President of the Council and the latter has directed for enquiry in the matter. The Council accordingly vide its letter dated 06.02.2015 requested Dr. M.M.Prabhakar, Medical Superintendent, Civil Hospital, to conduct an on-spot enquiry in the matter.
PIO at the time of hearing submits further that Dr.M.M. Prabhakar informed the Council that due to the outbreak of swine flu in Gujarat and neighbouring states, he would be unable to undertake the enquiry in the matter.
Appellant made his submission at length and produced documents to prove that the selection of Dr. Ajay S. Chandanwale for the post of Dean of B.J. Medical College, Pune, was illegal as the selection for the said post was reserved for disabled quota i.e. one arm affected. But Dr. Chandanwale does not have such disability to make a claim for the post. Dr. Chandanwale submitted misleading disability certificate showing 42% disability in a certificate issued by the All India Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Mumbai, which is misleading as his OAA is 18% referred in medical term as ‘monoparesis’ which cannot be covered under disabled quota. He further submits that Dr. Chandanwale is not disabled in any way as he is physically fit in both hands and legs; therefore, he drives two wheeler and 4-wheeler and has valid normal driving license issued by the Regional Transport Office, Pune.
Appellant further submits that no action has been taken by the MCI or the SMC even after submitting the documentary evidence to them. He further requested to provide the information regarding action taken by the MCI against the Dean of the B.J. Medical College. PIO submits that the matter has already come to the notice of the President of the Council, who has issued directions to hold an on-spot enquiry in the matter. The same, however, could not be done as the doctors deputed for the purpose have shown their inability to undertake the enquiry due to the outbreak of swine flu and are busy with their own work. He further assured that enquiry will take place in due course and action shall be taken as per MCI guidelines.
After hearing both the parties and perusal of documents, the Commission notes that this is a serious matter where a senior position in the medical profession is allegedly held by a person whose disability certificate is allegedly not bonafide and no action has been taken by the MCI as per their guidelines. The MCI has the power to look into the conduct of a medical practitioner and take appropriate action to maintain the professional medical ethics. If any doubt is created in the minds of the public it should be resolved by the appropriate forum so that the faith of the public on the medical profession is maintained. The Commission advises the President of the Medical Council of India to take appropriate action in the matter as soon as possible and assure that the professional ethics of the medical community is not usurped. The Commission directs the PIO to provide action taken report in the matter, within 6 weeks of receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Citation: Shri Shahid Raza Burney v. Medical Council of India in F.No.CIC/SS/A/2013/002927-YA