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Medical college renewal of course, consider for next year, keep security deposit, Supreme Court

February 7, 2018



Medical College renewal, consider next year and keep security deposit

A Bench of Supreme Court Judges, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Amitava Roy and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar disposed of the Writ Petition filed by a Medical College in IQ City Foundation & Anr v. Union of India & Ors., Writ Petition Civil No 502 of 2017.


The First Writ Petition was disposed of by the Supreme Court on 1st August, 2017. The petitioners had prayed for issue of a writ of certiorari for quashment of the order dated 31.05.2017 passed under Section 10-A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 by the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the 1st respondent herein, and further issue a direction to the said respondent to grant permission to the petitioner-College for the renewal for the academic year 2017-2018 to facilitate admission of the 5th batch (150 students) MBBS Course.

The Medical Council of India (MCI) had conducted an inspection and granted the Letter of Permission (LOP) on 15.07.2013 for the establishment of the new medical college at Burdwan, West Bengal with an annual intake of 150 students with effect from the academic year 2013-14. Vide letters dated 04.07.2014, 10.06.2015 and 15.12.2015, renewals of permission for the 2nd (1st renewal), 3rd (2nd renewal) and 4th (3rd renewal) batches of MBBS students at the petitioner-College for the academic years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively were granted by the respondent No. 1. On 06.07.2016, the petitioner-College submitted its scheme along with the requisite fees for the 4th renewal for the academic year 2017-18 which pertains to admission of the 5th batch of 150 students in MBBS course. On 09.07.2016, the 2nd respondent informed the College that the assessment for renewal of permission for the academic year 2017-18 would be undertaken by the Assessors appointed by it at any time after 15.07.2016 and the petitioners were asked to fill in the Standard Inspection Form A, Form B and Declaration Form for the academic year 2017-18 and keep them ready for scrutiny at the time of assessment. There was also a direction for submission of the soft copies of the said Forms.

As averred, the petitioners duly submitted a compact disc containing soft copies of Form A, Form B and Declaration Form and upon receipt of the necessary documents, the 2nd respondent constituted a team of Assessors and directed them to carry out the assessment inspection of the College. The inspection team, that is, the Assessors, conducted a surprise inspection of the College on 03.11.2016 and 04.11.2016. The Assessors pointed out certain deficiencies to the College and noted the same in the assessment report dated 04.11.2016. It is put forth that in the Regular Inspection Report, the shortfall in Teaching Faculty and Resident Doctors were only 4.5% and 3.50% respectively which were well within the prescribed limit. Two other deficiencies that were pointed out, as asserted, were completely remediable and were duly remedied by the College. On 22.12.2016, the Executive Committee of the respondent No.2 considered the Assessment Report of the Assessors and decided to recommend to the respondent No.1 not to renew the permission to the College for the 4th renewal for the academic year 2017-18. It was also noted that the 1st respondent, by its letter dated 03.02.2017, communicated to the College the recommendation dated 28.01.2017 of the respondent No. 2 for disapproving the permission to the College for the 4th renewal for the academic year 2017-18 and called upon the College to submit a detailed point-wise compliance with documentary evidence. The College was further intimated about the hearing that was to be held on 09.02.2017 before the Hearing Committee. A team of representatives of the College appeared before the Hearing Committee on the date fixed and submitted the compliance report keeping in view the remarks and observations made by the Assessors of the respondent No. 2. In the second week of March, 2017, the petitioners received a copy of the order dated 01.03.2017 issued by the 1st respondent recording the recommendations/order passed by the Hearing Committee of the respondent No. 1 under Section 10-A(4) of the Act.

The recommendation of the Hearing Committee was to the effect that the deficiencies pointed out by the 2nd respondent were not such to warrant disapproval at that stage. Despite the aforesaid findings of the Hearing Committee, the 1st respondent, instead of taking a final decision, referred the matter back to the respondent No.2 to review the same in the light of the recommendations/findings of the Hearing Committee along with documents submitted by the petitioners and to furnish its recommendation.


On the earlier occasion, it was asserted that the 2nd respondent, on 17.03.2017, constituted a team to carry out a Compliance Verification Assessment of the College. The team of Assessors, instead of carrying out a compliance verification, conducted a regular inspection on 21.03.2017 in a random manner and proceeded to make a different kind of assessment instead of limiting to their scope of reviewing the compliance of the remarks/observations of the Hearing Committee. At this juncture, it was contended that though the Compliance Inspection Report was submitted, yet the Assessors required the College to submit a representation and, accordingly, the College submitted the necessary representation to the respondent No. 2. The Assessors, as per the stand of the petitioners, noted certain deficiencies in their Compliance Verification. The Executive Committee of the respondent No. 2 held its meeting on 28.04.2017 but the minutes of the meeting were not uploaded on the official website of the respondent No. 2 until 29.05.2017 and were not communicated to the petitioners.


On earlier occasion, it was submitted that the petitioner had approached the 1st respondent on 20.5.2017 and submitted a detailed representation with regard to compliance verification of the deficiencies found by the assessors as pointed by the Respondent No. 2. Despite the same, the 1st respondent, vide order dated 31.5.2017, accepted the recommendation of the 2nd respondent and rejected the scheme of permission for the 4th renewal (Admission of the 5th batch of 150 students in MBBS course) for the academic year 2017-2018. It was urged that the order dated 31.5.2017 was communicated to the college on 30.6.2017. That apart, it was highlighted that the entire approach of the MCI was contradictory to the Act and the Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999 and further when the Central Government had sent back the matter to the MCI to have a relook at certain aspects, it could not have proceeded for a fresh compliance inspection.


The court disposed of the petition with the following directions and comments:

"15. That apart, the details of OPD patients between 15.3.2017 to 29.3.2017 have also been filed before the Hearing Committee as well as this Court. The grievance that has been vehemently agitated is that, had the Hearing Committee scrutinized the documents and appreciated the stand of the institution in proper perspective, the opinion of the Hearing Committee would have been quite different and as a corollary, the view of the Central Government would have been guided in an affirmative way in favour of the institution. The aforesaid submission, on a first blush, looks quite attractive but, on a keener scrutiny, pales into total insignificance. We are disposed to think so inasmuch as the Hearing Committee, on verification of every aspect, found that the deficiency of faculty members was 15.9 and the deficiency of Resident Doctors was 25.88 and, accordingly, it did not recommend for renewal. The Central Government, in its turn, observed that the deficiency found by the MCI was not compatible with the MCI guidelines. In such a situation, it is difficult to hold that there has been any perversity in the action of the authorities denying the renewal to the institution. Though we have given the stamp of approval to the decision of the Central Government, yet we are inclined to direct that the prayer for renewal shall be considered for the year 2018-19 and any bank guarantee that has been furnished shall be treated as deposit for the inspection and consideration for the next year, that is, 2018-19. Be it clearly stated, our opinion is restricted to the non-granting of renewal for the year 2017-18 and not an expression of opinion with regard to the consideration of the prayer for 2018-19."




Read the Judgment of Supreme Court of India in IQ City Foundation & Anr v. Union of India & Ors. dated 6.2.2018



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