Delhi High Court upholds GNCTD’s jurisdiction over UCMSB-Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital administration

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: The writ petitions were filed as Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by associations comprising teaching and non-teaching staff of UCMS challenging various orders aimed at implementing the Union Cabinet’s decision of 25-08-2005, to bring UCMS under the control of GNCTD. A division bench of Manmohan, CJ., and Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, JJ., held that the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) has the rightful authority and jurisdiction over the administration of the UCMSB-GTB Hospital.

The case revolved around the University College of Medical Sciences Block and Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital Complex (UCMSB-GTBH) and the issue of dual administrative control it faced. This dual control was between the University of Delhi (DU) and the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD). The situation resulted in administrative mismanagement and poor medical services, as noted by the Division Bench of the Court in a previous judgment on 31-05-2002. To resolve this issue, the Union Cabinet decided on 25-08-2005, to bring UCMSB-GTBH under the unified control of GNCTD, this decision remained unimplemented until 2014. Subsequently, GNCTD issued an order on 30-09-2016, calling for the complete administrative and financial control of UCMS to be handed over to GNCTD.

Petitioners opposed the takeover of UCMS by GNCTD, expressing concerns about the adverse effects on promotions, service conditions, and salary payments for staff. They sought a direction for reconsideration of UCMS’s de-affiliation from DU. Respondent No. 4, DU, supported the stand of the Petitioners, citing concerns about inadequate funding from GNCTD. Counsel for MHRD and MoHFW supported GNCTD’s takeover, citing health being a state subject and the need for unified administration. GNCTD assured adequate budgetary provisions and readiness to implement the Cabinet Decision.

The Court observed the history of directions for unified control, starting from 2002, acknowledging the urgent need for it. Despite objections and litigation, the Cabinet Decision to hand over UCMS to GNCTD was upheld and repeatedly directed for implementation. The Court noted the adverse effects of the dual control on medical services and the tragic incident due to lack of facilities. It emphasized the importance of a unified administrative control for effective functioning. The Court also noted concerns raised about funding but observed GNCTD’s assurances and readiness to provide necessary funds.


The Court remarked that “In the facts of this case, the material on record shows that there was a detailed consideration by Respondent No. 2, MoHFW, Respondent No. 1 MHRD and GNCTD on the issue at hand and it was thereafter, placed with a detailed note before the Cabinet of Union of India for considering the three (3) options enlisted by Respondent No. 2, MoHFW. The Cabinet after due consideration accepted one of the options as recommended by MoHFW recommending unified control of UCMS and GTB under GNCTD. The said decision of the Cabinet has been accepted by GNCTD. The Petitioners before this Court have been unable to show any violation of their fundamental rights and the only submission of the Petitioners appears to be their disgruntlement with the change of the identity of the employer. The grounds urged by the Petitioners do not make out any ground for our interference with decision of the Union Cabinet, even otherwise it has not been directly challenged by the contesting Petitioners.”

The Court held that the present petitions were barred by the doctrine of estoppel due to the history of directions for unified control and absence of grounds to challenge the Cabinet Decision. It emphasized the Court’s limited role in interfering with policy decisions unless they contravene constitutional mandates. The Court acknowledged GNCTD’s assurances regarding funding and readiness to implement the Cabinet Decision. Consequently, the Court dismissed the petitions, upholding the Cabinet Decision to bring UCMS under GNCTD’s control.

[Gopesh Mehrotra v. Union of India, 2024 SCC OnLine Del 1201, decided on 19-02-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

None for petitioner

Ms. Monika Arora, Mr. Subhrodeep Saha, Mr. Kushal, Advocates for Delhi University Mr. Kirtiman Singh with Mr. Waize Ali Noor, Ms. Vidhi Jain and Ms. Shreya V. Mehra, Advocates for UOI Mr. Sameer Vashisht, ASC, Civil, GNCTD with Ms. Harshita Nathrani, Mr. Vanshay Kaul, Mr. Aman Singh, Advocates Mr. Santosh Kumar and Mr. Kushagra Aman, Advocates Mr. Mohinder J.S. Rupal, Advocate with Mr. Hardik Rupal and Ms. Pragati Keshri, Advocates for University of Delhi. Mr. RK Tarun, Respondent in person with Ms. Aditi Shivadhatri and Capt. Ms. Subedita Ran

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