Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of Anil R. Dave, Vikramajit Sen and U.U. Lalit, JJ., held that the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Central Government must show due diligence right from the day when the applications preferred in respect of Medical Colleges are received. The MCI and the Central Government have been vested with monitoring powers under Section 10A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and the Regulations framed under the Act. It is expected of these authorities to discharge their functions well within the statutory confines as well as in conformity with the Schedule to the Regulations. If there is inaction on their part or non-observance of the time Schedule, it is bound to have adverse effect on all concerned.

The Court while clubbing a bunch of petitions emanating out of disapproval of applications (relating to  increase in number of seats in existing institutions, institutions which were sought to be established for the first time and institutions seeking renewal of permission) preferred in respect of Medical Colleges for the academic year 2014-2015 issued by the Central Government, basing on the reason that the MCI, after scrutiny, had found infirmities or inadequacies in the infrastructure, facilities and faculty in the said colleges, though the respective applicants Colleges  claimed to have rectified the shortcomings and asked for compliance verification which was subsequently refused by the Central Government and/or the MCI refused for want of adequate time.

The Supreme Court slammed the Central Government and MCI by referring to the delay, as it not only caused loss of opportunity to the students’ community but at the same time caused loss to the society in terms of less number of doctors being available. Therefore, they must show due diligence as stated above. The schedule giving various stages and time limits must accommodate every possible eventuality and at the same time must comply with the requirements of observance of natural justice at various levels. Moreover the court directed them to discharge their functions in accord with the concerned Regulations and the Statute in keeping the observations made by the court. It also said that the central government had been empowered to make minor adjustments in the schedule for inspection and grant of permission to medical colleges. However, the bench clarified that the September 30 deadline to complete admissions to all MBBS seats must be scrupulously adhered to. Royal Medical Trust v. Union of India,  2015 SCC OnLine SC 740Decided on 20.08.2015

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