SC overturns Kerala High Court Decision; MCI Inspections should be done by end of March

Supreme Court overturns Kerala High Court order that allowed admission in four medical colleges, which were found to have poor infrastructure.

Courts should not play a role in the making of “half-baked doctors” by allowing unequipped medical colleges to carry out admissions, the Supreme Court has cautioned the judiciary in a recent verdict.

The judgment by a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran dealt with the admission of over 500 students in four private medical colleges in Kerala, which were found to have poor infrastructure.

The Kerala High Court had set aside the decisions of Medical Council of India and the Union government to bar admissions to these colleges in 2018-19, and permitted the college to admit students. It gave the colleges a second chance to remove the deficiencies and asked the MCI to carry out fresh inspections. In case, the defects continue to remain, MCI could take “appropriate action.”

Quashing the High Court order, the Supreme Court held that admissions of students should not be on such conditional basis. The Bench asked why the High Court allowed the admissions to be carried on despite very well knowing that the colleges were sub-standard.

“Such orders may ruin the entire career of the students. Once permission to admit students is granted, it should not be such conditional one,” Justice Mishra wrote in his 37-page judgment for the Bench.

The Supreme Court said the High Court order amounted to permitting an unequipped medical college to impart medical education without proper infrastructure and faculty and patients. It said such orders ultimately cause society to suffer.

“Half-baked doctors cannot be left loose on society like drones and parasites to deal with the life of patients in the absence of proper educational training. It would be dangerous and against the right to life itself, in case unequipped medical colleges are permitted to impart substandard medical education without proper facilities and infrastructure,” the Supreme Court observed.

The court said in the judgment that it would be appropriate that the MCI, as well as the Government of India, take a final decision on the suitability of a medical college for admissions after inspection by the end of February or latest by the end of March.

“We are constrained to observe that it would be appropriate that MCI and Government of India take a decision in all the cases at an early date and not by the end of May 2018. The next academic session has to commence from first of July of the Gregorian calendar year as such at least three-four months’ time should be available to seek judicial review of the action or re-inspection,” the Supreme Court observed.

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