Thursday, February 13, 2014

PIL dismissed by Division Bench of Allahabad High Court: Life to Illegally Reconstituted MCI extended for some time?

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Dr.Anil Kumar Singh from Allahabad High Court has been dismissed on 20th January 2014 by the Division Bench of Allahabad High Court comprising of Hon’ble Justice, Sunil Ambwani, and Justice Dinesh Gupta, on the ground of Alternate Remedy not used by the petitioner before Central Govt. It is important to mention that case was listed for 13 times before dismissal of the case.
Background of the Case:
The Medical Council of India was superseded in the year 2010 by Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act 2010 with provisions for Constitution of the Board of Governors for one year. Their term was extended by the Ordinances promulgated in the year 2011 and in the year 2012 for one year each. The least of these Ordinances namely the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2013, could not be enacted into Act, in as much as the Bill for re-enactment was referred to the Standing Committee of the Parliament and that the Bill could not be debated and discussed as the Parliament Session was adjourned sine die.
The last of the Ordinance of the year 2013, provided for reconstitution of the council within one hundred and eighty days i.e. by 15th November 2013. [Para 2]
Partially Constituted MCI, Elected Chairman and Other Office Bearers:
In the meantime the elections and nominations to constitute the Medical Council of India were held in accordance with Section 3 of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956. The Medical Council of India was constituted with the elected and nominated members electing the Chairman and other office bearers on 5.11.2013. [Para 3]
Ground for PIL and the Prayer: No homework done in preparing & arguing the case
The prayer made in the writ petition is based on an inadvertently wrong reference to the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act 2010, as the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 in the letter of the Deputy Secretary to the Government of India dated 14.6.2013.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner has unnecessarily without any justicifiable reason tried to built his entire arguments on such incorrect reference; in the letter dated 14.6.2013. [Para 4]
Sri R.B Singhal, has made a statement clarifying that the reference in the letter is of the Ordinance of 2013, as no Act was enacted in the year 2013. [Para 5]
Profile of Petitioner & Allegations:
The petitioner Dr.Anil Kumar Singh who claims to be a doctor practicing at Allahabad concerned deeply with elections of the Medical Council of India.
He alleges that a fraud has been played as the Act to constitute a truncated council with representatives of six states only out of 28 states and Union Territories and that the elections of the Chairman and other office bearers was held from a partially constituted council denying the right to election to the members on the rolls of Medical Council of India from Uttar Pradesh and other States. [Para 6]
Challenge to the MCI Office Bearers Elections:
The petitioner has also challenged the election by an amendment application dated 11.11.2013 which has been allowed and the second amendment application which is pending. According to the petitioner the representatives of State of U.P. was not elected and that only a few members, from six States have illegally elected as the office bearers of the Medical Council of India. [Para 7]
Complaint to Central Govt. before approaching the Court:
We find that sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 provides that where any dispute arises regarding any election to council it shall be referred to the Central Government whose decision shall be final. [Para 8]
The petitioner has alternative remedy to challenge the election on all the ground which may be available to him before the Central Government. [Para 9]
Alternate Remedy by complaining to Central Govt.:
Division Bench of Allahabad clarified that we do not find any substance in the arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the dispute relating to elections to the council will not include dispute relating to elections of Chairman and other office bearers of the council in as much as the elections to Medical Council of India include both the elections of the members of the Medical Council of India and the elections of the office bearers of the Medical Council of India. [Para 10]
Alternative remedy by complaining to Central Government should be utilised before approaching the Court:
The Writ petition is dismissed on the ground of alternative remedy.
No Public Interest shown:
Before parting with the case, Division Bench observed that this matter could not have been entertained as public interest litigation as no public interest is likely to be served in allowing any of the prayers or the awarded prayers.
Is this given a Life to Illegally Reconstituted MCI?
1.    Sunil Ambwani, J., Dinesh Gupta, J. Dr.Anil Kumar Singh vs. Union of India, Thru Secy. and 2 Others, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) No.55024 of 2013, Allahbad High Court (Main Bench, Allahabad) Order Date: 20.1.2014.

Dr Mukesh Yadav
B.Sc., M.B.B.S., M.D., M.B.A. (HCA), LL.B., PGDHR
Editor, Journal of Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine
Professor and Head of Department,
Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
School of Medical Sciences & Research, Sharda University
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