The action taken on complaints relating to Prevention of Ragging in Medical Colleges by the Baroda Medical College; non-implementation of Anti Ragging guidelines of MCI alleged - CIC: apprise the present status of complaints
The present appeal, filed by Dr. Maulesh G. Shah against Medical Council of India, was taken up for hearing on 08.01.2014 when the Respondents were present through Shri Shikhar Ranjan, Law Officer. The Appellant was present in person.
2. The Appellant through an RTI application dated 17.11.2012, filed before the CPIO, Medical Council of India, New Delhi, sought to know the action taken on certain complaints, which were mainly related to the alleged violation of Rules & Regulations (relating to the Prevention of Ragging in Medical Colleges) by the Baroda Medical College in relation to his daughter - a PG student in the said college.
3. Since the application fee enclosed with the above application was not in the prescribed form, the CPIO by his letter dated 12.12.2012 returned the application fee to the Appellant with an advice to resubmit the same in the proper manner.
4. Thereafter the CPIO, on receipt of application fee from the Appellant, sent a reply to the Appellant on 13.02.2013 providing a copy of letter dated 30.01.2013.
5. Thereafter the Appellate Authority, on being approached by the Appellant by way of an appeal, passed an order dated 25.04.2013 wherein he summarized the Appellant’s grievance/submission as given below:
“It appears to me that the applicant is primarily aggrieved by difficulties encountered by his daughter Dr. Nupur M. Shah in pursuing her PG degree in Baroda Medical College. He considers that action on his daughter’s complaint on ragging has not been taken in accordance with the MCI Anti Ragging Regulations. Further he alleges that the College is not observing the relevant Rules and Regulations, therefore MCI must act to ensure compliance by the College of various Supreme Court judgments and MCI Regulations.”
6. The Appellate Authority, interalia, observed that the issues raised by the Appellant are primarily legal issues pertaining either to interpretation of MCI Regulations or the procedure followed by the College and Government of Gujarat to implement judgment of Supreme Court and the relevant Rules and Regulations of MCI which cannot be answered by PIO or FAA. He, however, with regard to the action taken on representations (dated12.08.2012) filed by the Appellant’s daughter, recorded that the MCI had sought information from the college on the matter which has not been received by the Council till date. He accordingly directed that a reminder be issued to the college seeking report on the issue.
7. Aggrieved by the decision of the Appellate Authority the Appellant filed the present appeal before the Commission reiterating his complaint/grievance against non-implementation of Anti Ragging Guidelines by Medical College, Baroda.
8. During the hearing, the Respondents informed the Commission that they had conducted an enquiry into the complaint in question (regarding harassment and ragging), but had not found any merit in the same. The Appellant, on his part, while reiterating his complaint regarding non-implementation of Anti Ragging Guidelines by Medical College, Baroda, also complained that the Respondents have not complied with the Commission’s decision No. CIC/SG/A/2011/003627 dated 13.02.2012 by which they had been directed to display the list of all the complaints received by them and action taken thereon on their website. The Respondents, however, denied the Appellant’s allegation and stated that the said order of the Commission dealt with the complaints regarding professional misconduct which they have already complied with. However, in the present case the complaints in question are on different subject viz., non-implementation of Anti Ragging guidelines.
9. Considering the importance of the issue, the Commission directed the Respondents to file a written submission on the implementation of Anti Ragging Rule/guidelines by the Medical Council of India.
10. The Respondents accordingly sent their written submission to the Commission through an email dated 16.01.2014, operative part of which reads as follows:
“That the Medical Council of India is a statutory authority created and constituted by the Central Government under an Act of Parliament, namely Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as the IMC Act). It is body constituted under the provisions of the Act and has been given inter alia the responsibility of discharging the duty of maintenance of minimum standards of medical education in the medical institutions falling within the ambit of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.
4. It is thus respectfully reiterated that in discharge of its statutory obligations towards maintenance of minimum standards in medical education in the country, by virtue of provisions of section 33 of the Act, the MCI has been empowered with the prior approval of the Central Government to frame regulations for laying down minimum standards of infrastructure teaching and other requirements for conduct of medicine courses.
5. That in exercise of its powers under Section 33 of the IMC Act and in light of the incidents of ragging prevalent in medical colleges the MCI has framed the Medical Council of India (Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging in Medical Colleges/Institutions) Regulation, 2009 for curbing the menace of ragging in order to ensure maintenance of standards of medical education in the country. A copy of the aforementioned Regulations of 2009 is attached herewith and marked as Annexure 1.
6. That Clause 3.3 of the aforementioned Regulations of 2009 defines ‘ragging’ and Clause 4 gives ingredients (acts) of ragging. Clause 5 and 6 of the Regulations provide for measures to be taken for prevention of ragging, including at the institutional level which includes the provisions of constituting anti ragging squads and University Monitoring Cells. Clause 7 provides for verification by MCI that colleges are following the antiragging norms. Further, Clause 8 of the Regulations talks about ‘Punishments’; Clause 8.1 relates to ‘punishments’ to those who are found guilty of ‘ragging’, whereas Clause 8.2 provides for Penal consequences for the heads of the institutions/administration of the institution who do not take timely steps in the prevention of ragging and punishing those who rag; Clause 8.3 provide for institutional punishments against the Medical College/Institution/University by the MCI itself on failure to curb the menace of ragging which might go to the extent of declaring the erring Medical College/Institution/University to be ineligible for preferring any Application under Section 10A of the IMC Act for a minimum period of one year, extendable by such quantum by the Council as would be commensurate with the wrong.
7. That the Medical Council of India has laid down a detailed structure of Anti Ragging Committees and Squads in its regulations namely “the Medical Council of India (Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging in Medical Colleges/Institutions) Regulations, 2009”.
8. That the Medical Council of India has laid down a detailed and institutional framework to curb the menace of ragging and it is the Medical College/Institution/University who are primarily responsible for implementation of the provisions of these regulations. In addition to the framework MCI has also introduced the concept of ‘regulatory measure’ by time to time inspection of the Colleges by teams of MCI to ensure that the Regulations are being followed in their letter and spirit and further by way of providing for ‘institutional punishments’ the MCI has put in place a deterrent as well as penal provision for Medical Colleges/Institutions/University in form of Clause 8.3 of the Regulations if a medical college/institution/University fails to carry out its duty under the said Regulations.
9. It is most respectfully submitted thus that the responsibility of implementing the Anti Ragging Regulations framed by the MCI is primarily the responsibility of the concerned College/Institution/ University and MCI, basically, has to play a supervisory role. However, in case there are flagrant violation of these statutory Regulations by any College/Institution/University necessary action will be taken in accordance with law. 10. It is respectfully submitted that the Medical Council of in order to curb the menace of ragging in Medical Colleges has sent a Circular on 26.09.2013 to the Dean of all the Medical Colleges/Institutions in India, the Directors of Medical Education of all the States in India; the Secretary of Medical Education of all the State Governments in India; and the Registrar of all the Universities and Deemed Universities in India. A copy of the aforementioned Circular is attached herewith and marked as Annexure 2.
11. It is respectfully submitted that the Council has designated a Senior Official in the rank of Joint Secretary as Nodal Officer to ensure effective implementation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment in regard to curbing the menace of ragging in higher in higher educational institutions.”
11. On consideration of the submission above and on perusal of records, the Commission is of the view that the disclosure requirement under the RTI Act in the present case would be completed if the Appellant is apprised of the final outcome/present status of complaints listed out in his RTI application. The CPIO is accordingly directed to provide this information to the Appellant within 2 weeks of receipt of this order.
12. Appeal is disposed of with the above directions.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Dr. Maulesh G. Shah v. Medical Council of India in Case No. CIC/LS/A/2013/001352SS