Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vibhu Bhakru, J., dismissed a writ petition filed by a doctor against the decision of Delhi Medical Council denying him a renewal of registration.

The petitioner practiced medicine for the last 30 years in India and outside. From 2004 to 2011, he was practicing in State of Georgia, USA. Thereafter, he moved to India and had been practicing in Delhi. He was registered with Delhi Medical Council. In May 2017, a news article appeared in The Indian Express alleging that the petitioner had been charged and indicted on various counts of sexual misconduct in State of Georgia. Delhi Medical Council declined to renew his registration for concealing the fact of his having been guilty in a court of law. Before the Superior Court of Fulton County, he pleaded guilty for sexual battery and unwarranted medical examination on women patients. He struck a plea bargain and his 12-month sentence was suspended on special conditions which inter alia included that he would not practice medicine in any form within the USA or in any other country. Taking note of the same, renewal of registration was denied and disciplinary proceedings were also commenced by Medical Council of India. Aggrieved by the same same, the petitioner filed the instant petition.

The High Court noted that the declaration made by the petitioner before Delhi Medical Council was false in as much as he concealed the fact of being subject to an inquiry in the State of Georgia. Reference was made to Regulations 7.4 and 7.5 of Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette, and Ethics) Regulations, 2002. In the facts of the case, the Court was convinced that the petitioner was guilty of acts of sexual misconduct and was convicted for an offence involving moral turpitude. Medical Council of India had erased his name from the Medical Register which was found justified. Therefore, the Court found no reason to interfere with the impugned order. Hence, the petition was dismissed. [N.K. Gupta v. Medical Council of India,2018 SCC OnLine Del 10132, dated 23-07-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: In the present case, the Petitioner, an erstwhile teacher at KV Aurangabad Cantt. was subject to termination by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan on charges of moral turpitude involving sexual misconduct with certain female students in the 4th Standard, against which he appealed to the Central Administrative Tribunal. The Writ Petition seeking to impugn the CAT’s decision dated 8th May 2013 was placed before a bench comprising of SS Shinde and VK Jadhav, JJ, who affirmed the termination order.

It was argued on the Petitioner’s behalf that principles of natural justice had been violated by not giving him opportunity to be heard at various stages of the enquiry instituted against him, that he had not been given access to the statements and complaints of the students, that the report was not fair etc. Article 81 B of the Education Code of Kendriya Vidyalaya was contended to be ultra vires to Article 14 of the Constitution on grounds of not tendering sufficient opportunity to the delinquent and of  providing arbitrary power to the Authority.

The Court refused to accept any of Petitioner’s contentions. Insofar as Article 81 B of the Education Code provides for an extension of Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965, it also empowers the Commissioner to terminate the services of an employee guilty of sexual misconduct, if, after a summary enquiry, his guilt is prima facie evident. This could be effected by three months’ pay in lieu of notice, for permanent employees, which was done in the instant case. The Court approvingly cited Avinash Nagra v. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (1997) 2 SCC 534, and noted that two safeguards are ensured under the rules devised, which are: the record of reasons for the decision to not proceed to a full enquiry under the rules and the mandate to post those reasons to the Chairman of KVS, i.e. Minister, Human Resources Development. The Court found that the facts showed that adequate opportunity had been given to the Petitioner to represent his side, and principles of natural justice had been followed.  [Gokul v Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 3549, decided on 7-06-2016]