Writ Petition (Civil) No. 580 of 2013. Case: Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Medical College & Ors. Vs Union of India & Another. Supreme Court

Case Number:Writ Petition (Civil) No. 580 of 2013
Party Name:Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Medical College & Ors. Vs Union of India & Another
Judges:K. S. Radhakrishnan and A. K. Sikri, JJ.
Issue:Constitution of India - Articles 14, 32, 129; Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act, 2010 - Section 3(c); Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 -Sections 3(c), 33(fa); Contempt of Courts Act, 1971
Judgement Date:September 18, 2013
Court:Supreme Court
 
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Judgment:

K. S. Radhakrishnan, J.

  1. Petitioners have approached this Court invoking the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India seeking a Writ of Certiorari to quash the Corrigendum Notification No. 37(1)2013/One Time Permission/Med./19355, in so far as it confines the benefits of the "Enhancement of Annual Intake Capacity in Undergraduate Courses in Medical College for the Academic Session 2013-14 only Regulations 2013" (in short "Regulations 2013"), issued vide notification dated 8.7.2013, to the Government Medical Colleges only, as unconstitutional, being ultra vires of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

  2. Petitioners in all these petitions submit that they are all well established private unaided medical institutions in the country running for more than 10 years with an annual intake of 100 MBBS students, over and above, they are conducting PG Degree and Diploma courses as well. Regulations 2013 was issued on 8.7.2013 by the Medical Council of India (for short "MCI") with the intention of granting one-time permission to all Government and Non-Government Medical Colleges with the objective of enhancing the intake capacity of all the medical colleges in the country, which was framed with the intention to augment the human resources in medicine for attaining optimum Doctor-Population ratio in the nation, without compromising on the prescribed minimum standards of medical education.

  3. Petitioners have satisfied all the eligibility criteria laid down in the above mentioned Regulations 2013, and after having satisfied the eligibility criteria laid down, few of them submitted an application to the MCI for enhancement of annual intake of students, reference was made to one of such applications dated 15.7.2013. While so, they came across a Corrigendum issued by the Board of Governors of the MCI, on the direction given by the Central Government, stating that Regulations 2013 would be confined only to Government medical colleges for the academic year 2013-14.

  4. Learned senior counsel appearing for the writ petitioners submitted that such corrigendum cannot override the statutory Regulations 2013. Learned senior counsel submitted that the object of the Regulations would be achieved only if the same is made applicable uniformly to the Government as well as Non-Government medical colleges in the country and that confining the Regulations only to the Government medical colleges is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. In support of this contention, reference was made to the judgments of this Court in Suraj Mall Mohta and Co. v. A. V. Vishvanath Sastri (1955) 1 SCR 448 and State of West Bengal v. Anwar Ali Sarkar 1952 SCR 284.

  5. Shri Amit Kumar, learned counsel appearing for MCI defended the issue of corrigendum stating that the same was issued in public interest and also in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the present case since the time limit fixed in the Schedule to 2013 Regulations got expired. Learned counsel also submitted that corrigendum was issued by the MCI on the direction given by the Central Government under Section 3(c) of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act, 2010, which enables the Central Government to give proper directions to the MCI and the MCI is bound to give effect to those directions. Learned counsel also explained the circumstances which led the Central Government in issuing the letter dated 18.7.2013 to the MCI. Learned counsel also submitted that, due to the extreme necessity of completing the admission process, the Board of Governors of the MCI could not have received applications from the private medical colleges for enhancing the intake capacity during the academic year 2013-14. It is under such circumstances, the Central Government had directed the MCI to apply the modified time schedule for the receipt of application - and grant permission only to the Government medical colleges for the academic year 2013-14. Learned counsel also pointed out that MCI and the Central Government have to comply with the time schedule fixed by this Court in various judgments for admission of students as well. Reference was made to the judgments of this Court in Mridul Dhar (Minor) and Another v. Union of India and Others (2005) 2 SCC 65 and Priya Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh and Others (2012) 7 SCC 433.

  6. Shri Sidharth Luthra, Additional Solicitor General appearing on behalf of the Union of India, made available the original files leading to the issue of the letter dated 18.7.2013 by the Central Government to the MCI and explaining the circumstances under which it was decided to confine the Regulations 2013 only to the Government medical colleges, that too, taking into consideration the larger public interest. Shri Luthra also submitted that the direction given by the Central Government vide letter dated 18.7.2013 is in consonance with the Regulations and issued in exercise of the powers conferred on it under Section 3(c) of the Indian Medical Council Act...

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