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“Enhancement of Annual Intake Capacity in Undergraduate Courses in Medical College for the Academic Session 2013-14 only Regulations 2013”= 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.= Central Government is also empowered under Section 3(c) of Indian Medical Council Act, as amended in 2010, to issue various directions to the Board of Governor of the the MCI, which reads as follows :- “3C. (1) Without prejudice to the provisions of this Act, the Board of Governors or the Council after its reconstitution shall, in exercise of its powers and in the performance of its functions under this Act, be bound by such directions on questions of policy, other – than those relating to technical and administrative matters, as the Central Government may give in writing to it from time to time; Provided that the Board of Governors or the Council after its reconstitution shall, as far as practicable, be given an opportunity to express its views before any direction is given under this subsection. (2) The decision of the Central Government whether a question is a matter of policy or not shall be final.” Board of Governors of the MCI is, therefore, bound by the Corrigendum issued by the Central Government. We notice that the above corrigendum extending the last date was made applicable only to the Government medical colleges recording the reason that the time would be very short so as to process the applications by the MCI received from the non-government medical colleges. We cannot say that the decision taken by the Central Government is perverse, arbitrary or unreasonable, so as to strike down the corrigendum issued under the extra- ordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. – 22. The petitions, therefore, lack in merits and are accordingly dismissed.

published in   http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40790    

 

English: The supreme court of india. Taken abo...

English: The supreme court of india. Taken about 170 m from the main building outside the perimeter wall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 580 OF 2013

 

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Medical College & Ors. .. Petitioners

 

Versus

 

Union of India & Another .. Respondents

 

WITH
SLP (CIVIL) NO. 24693 OF 2013

 

J U D G M E N T

 

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, 1956.

 


7. We have heard learned senior counsel on either side at length. We
need not reiterate the imperative need to follow the time limit fixed by
this Court in the matter of admission to MBBS/BDS courses in Mridul Dhar
case (supra) which was done in the interest of students’ community, for
admission to the Post Graduate and Super Speciality courses. Timely
admission of the students to these courses is of utmost importance so that
the students would get quality and timely education. In Mridul Dhar case
(supra), this Court clearly indicated that the time schedule for
establishment of new college or to increase intake in existing college
shall be adhered to strictly by all concerned, failing which defaulting
party would be liable to be personally proceeded with.

 

8. In Priya Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh and Others (2012) 7 SCC 433,
this Court has reiterated the necessity to follow the time limit fixed by
this Court. This Court went even to the extent of indicating that failure
to conform with the time limit fixed by this Court shall be liable for
action under the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 read with
Article 129 of the Constitution of India.

 


9. In the light of the above mentioned judgments and the various
directions issued by this Court, we have to judge whether the decision
taken by the Central Government as well as the MCI confining the
Regulations 2013 only to the Government medical colleges is arbitrary,
illegal or discriminatory in the peculiar circumstances of this case.
Regulations 2013 was issued by the MCI in exercise of its powers conferred
under Section 33(fa) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 with the
previous sanction of the Central Government. The object of the
notification was to enhance the intake capacity in the existing medical
colleges so as to augment human resources in medicine for attaining optimum
Doctor-Population ratio in the Nation, without compromising the prescribed
minimum standards of medical education. Regulation 3 deals with the
eligibility to make an application, which reads as under:
“3. Eligibility to make application.- (1) The application for
enhancement of annual intake capacity in the existing Medical Colleges
may be made by the organizations that have established the Medical
College to the Board of Governors in Supersession of the Medical
Council of India. The format of application for Government and non-
governmental owned Medical College is prescribed in Schedule I
appended to these Regulations.

 
(2) Only such existing Medical Colleges shall be eligible to apply
under these Regulations that enjoy minimum –
ten years of standing from the date of grant of initial letter of
permission by the Central Government and the MBBS qualification
awarded by them stands included in the First Schedule of the Indian
Medical Council Act, 1956 [Act No. 102 of 1956].

 
(3) The Medical Colleges with an annual intake of 50 or more but below
100 MBBS seats shall be eligible to apply for enhancement for annual
intake capacity to 100, as one-time measure.

 
(4) The Medical Colleges with an annual intake of 100 or more but
below 150 MBBS seats shall be eligible to apply for enhancement for
annual intake capacity to 150, as one-time measure.

 
(5) Such Medical Colleges that have not been granted letter of
permission by the Board of Governors in Super-session of the Medical
Council of India in accordance with clause 8(1)(3)(d) of the
Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999 [notified in the
Official Gazette on 16.04.2010] and/or the person who has established
the Medical College has been convicted by a Court of Competent
jurisdiction in a criminal investigation initiated by the Central
Bureau of Investigation or Police.”

 

10. Regulation 4 deals with the procedure to make application. The time-
schedule for receipt of application for enhancement of annual intake
capacity in under-graduate courses, is provided in Schedule II appended to
the Regulations, which reads as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

“SCHEDULE II
TIME-SCHEDULE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATION FOR ENHANCEMENT OF ANNUAL
INTAKE CAPACITY IN UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

 
|S. No. |Stage of Processing |Last date |
|1. |Receipt of applications by the Board |15.07.2013 |
| |of Governors in Super-session of the | |
| |Medical Council of India | |
|2. |Return of Incomplete application |20.07.2013 |
|3. |Grant of Letter of Permission by the |31.07.2013 |
| |Board of Governors in Supersession of | |
| |the Medical Council of India | |

 

 

 
11. Schedule I of Regulations 2013 deals with the format of application
for Government and Non-government medical colleges for making an
application for enhancement of annual intake capacity. Para 4 of the Form
(Schedule I) as well as the note attached to the said format also has
relevance and the same is as follows:
“SCHEDULE I
FORM
(Suggested format for Applicants)

 
PROPOSED FORMAT OF UNDERTAKING TO BE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT FOR
ENHANCEMENT OF MBBS SEATS FROM ________ (Please specify existing
intake capacity} to ________ (Please specify enhanced intake capacity)

 

xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
4. The applicant assures that the compliance with the relevant Minimum
Standard Requirement Regulations is mandatory for continuation of the
batch of students and is in the interest of students. In case of any
failure to meet the requirements of the Regulations the Central
Government / Board of Governors in super-session of the Medical
Council of India would be entitled in law to withdraw/revoke/cancel
such permission.

 

 

 
Yours faithfully,
[Applicant]
Note :

 
Kindly enclose :

 

 

 

(a) duly attested copy of initial Letter of Permission and of
subsequent renewals granted by the Central Government u/s 10A of
the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956; and

 
(b) duly attested copy of the Gazette notification/Order of the
Central Government including the MBBS qualification awarded by
the applicant’s Medical College in the First Schedule of the
Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

 
The Undertaking in case of Government of State/Union Territory should be
signed by the Chief Secretary.

 

 

 

The Undertaking in case of non-Governmental application should be on non-
judicial stamp paper of Rs. 100 and should be made by President / Chairman
/Vice Chancellor/ Managing Trustee of the Society/Trust and Managing
Director of the Company. The Undertaking should inter alia state that:

 

 

 


(a) the College has not been subject to clause 8 (3) (1) (d) of
the Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999; and

 
(b) the person establishing the Medical College has not been
convicted by a Court of competent jurisdiction in a criminal
investigation initiated by the Central Bureau of Investigation
or Police. The Undertaking should be duly attested by a First
Class Magistrate.”

 
12. MCI, in their counter affidavit, stated that the above mentioned
notification dated 8.7.2013 was received by the Council Office only on
16.7.2013. By that time, the last date fixed for receipt of application by
the Board of Governors was over, which was on 15.7.2013. Under such
circumstances, the MCI wrote a letter dated 17.7.2013 to the Government of
India, stating as follows:
“ xxx xxx xxx

 
In light of Gazette notification received on 16.07.2013 the time
of receipt of application has already lapsed. Therefore, as per
provisions as under [in the Establishment of Medical College
Regulations, 1999]:

 
“The time schedule indicated above may be modified by the
Central Government, for reasons to be recorded in writing, in respect
of any class or category of applications.

 
Keeping in light the above statutory provisions, whereby the
Central Government is empowered to modify the time schedule, it is
proposed in order to –
achieve the objective of enhancing the intake capacity in existing
Medical Colleges, so as to augment the human resources in medicine for
attaining optimum Doctor-population ratio in the nation, the above
schedule may be modified to the following:

 

 

 
|S. No. |Stage of Processing |Last Date |Modified Dates|
|1. |Receipt of applications |15.07.2013 |24.07.2013 |
| |by the Board of Governors| | |
| |in Super-session of the | | |
| |Medical Council of India | | |
|2. |Return of Incomplete |20.07.2013 |31.07.2013 |
| |application | | |
|3. |Grant of Letter of |31.07.2013 |31.07.2013 |
| |Permission by the Board | | |
| |of Governors in | | |
| |Supersession of the | | |
| |Medical Council of India | | |

 
It is requested that permission of Central Government to modify
the Schedule as proposed above be granted, so as to enable the Council
to further expedite the process. This modification, with the approval
of Central Government can be carried out by public notice and need not
be notified in the Official Gazette.

 
It is also brought to your kind attention that as the time-
schedule for grant of letter of permission for establishment of new
Medical Colleges and renewal of permission for increase of seats in
existing Medical Colleges was extended to 15 July 2013, by the Hon’ble
Supreme Court for he academic year 2013-14 pursuant to an application
moved by the Council in Priya Gupta’s case, an appropriate application
is also required to be filed by the Council seeking permission –
of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Necessary steps are being taken by the
Council in this regard.

 
Kindly grant permission at the earliest which will enable the
Council to do the needful at the earliest.”

 

13. The MCI, therefore, requested the Government of India to modify the
time schedule and extend the last date of receipt of application to
24.7.2013, since they could not receive the applications by the various
medical colleges prior to 15.7.2013, as the very Regulations 2013 dated
8.7.2013 was received by the MCI only on 16.7.2013.

 

14. The Central Government considered the request and pointed out that it
would not be possible for the Board of Governors of MCI to process all the
applications preferred by the Non-government medical colleges within the
time fixed, therefore, it decided to issued a corrigendum which modified
that the date of 24.7.2013 would apply only to Government medical colleges.

 

15. We find no serious error in the view taken by the Central Government
confining Regulations 2013 to Government medical colleges alone in view of
strict time limit fixed in the Schedule for receipt of applications i.e.
15.7.2013 and the preremptory directions given by this Court in judgments
referred to above. –
We may make it clear that the time limit fixed for starting a medical
college as well as for additional intake are of extreme importance, or else
it may collide with the time limit fixed for starting the academic session.
If the time limit fixed in the notification dated 8.7.2013 was to be
adhered to strictly, the majority of the Non-government medical colleges
could not have applied, since the Regulations 2013 was received by the MCI
only on 16.7.2013 beyond the last date fixed for the receipt of application
by the Board of Governors of MCI.

 

16. We indicate that the main argument raised by the learned senior
counsel appearing for the Petitioners was that 2013 Regulations should have
been made applicable equally to the Government Medical Colleges as well as
non-Government Medical Colleges and there cannot be any discrimination
between them, otherwise the object sought to be achieved by the Regulations
would have been defeated. In our view, in a given case power is vested
with the Central Government to modify the time schedule, in respect of at
least one class or category of applicants. We may in this connection refer
to Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999, which was issued in
exercise of powers conferred under Section 10A read with Section 3 of the
Indian –
Medial Council Act, which has recognised five categories of organisations
which are eligible to apply for starting a Medical College as well as
eligible to apply for further intake of seats. Following are the
categories :-
1. A State Government/Union Territory;
2. A University;
3. An autonomous body promoted by Central and State Government by or
under a Statute for the purpose of medical education;

 
4. A society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of
1860) or corresponding Acts in States; or

 
5. A public religious or charitable trust registered under the Trust Act,
1882 (2 of 1882) or the Wakfs Act, 1954 (29 of 1954).

 

 

 

17. State Government/Union Territory can also set up a Medical College
and take additional intake of seats, apart from the other categories
mentioned above. In a given case, the Central Government, for reasons to
be recorded in writing, can modify the time schedule in respect of any
class or category of applicants mentioned hereinbefore. Such a power has
been conferred on Central Government by virtue of Establishment of Medical
College Regulations (Amendment), 2012.

 

18. The Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999, as amended by
Establishment of Medical College Regulations (Amendment), 2012, provides
for time schedule for grant of letter of permission by the Medical Council
of India for establishment of a Medical College as well as increase in
admission capacity in MBBS course. Schedule to the above mentioned
Regulations reads as follows :-
SCHEDULE
SCHEDULE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW MEDICAL
COLLEGES AND PROCESSING OF THE APPLICATIONS BY THE MEDICAL COUNCIL OF
INDIA.

 

|S.No. |Stage of processing | |Last Date |
|1. |Receipt of applications by the Council | |From 1st August to |
| | | |30th September (both|
| | | |days inclusive) of |
| | | |the year. |
|2. |Issue of Letter of Intent by the | |Upto 30th April |
| |Council | | |
|3. |Receipt of reply from the applicant by | |Upto 31st May |
| |the Council for consideration for issue| | |
| |of Letter of Permission | | |
|4. |Issue of Letter of Permission by the | |15th June |
| |Council | | |

 

Note : The time schedule indicated above may be modified by the Central
Government, for reasons to be recorded in writing, in respect of any
class or category of applications.

 

19. The note specifically indicates that the time schedule could be
modified by Central Government for reasons to be recorded in writing in
respect of any category, class of applicants which, in our view, could also
be invoked in the case of increase of annual intake as well. Resultantly,
the Central Government has the power to modify the date from 15.7.2013 to
24.7.2013 in respect of any class or category of applications. So far as
the present case is concerned, it is in exercise of that statutory power,
the Corrigendum has been issued by the Central Government modifying the
time schedule to the Government Medical College alone out of the five
categories mentioned hereinbefore. We are not prepared to say favouring
the Government Medical College alone in such circumstances is violative of
Article 14 of the Constitution.

 

20. Central Government is also empowered under Section 3(c) of Indian
Medical Council Act, as amended in 2010, to issue various directions to the
Board of Governor of the the MCI, which reads as follows :-
“3C. (1) Without prejudice to the provisions of this Act, the Board
of Governors or the Council after its reconstitution shall, in
exercise of its powers and in the performance of its functions under
this Act, be bound by such directions on questions of policy, other –
than those relating to technical and administrative matters, as the
Central Government may give in writing to it from time to time;

 
Provided that the Board of Governors or the Council after its
reconstitution shall, as far as practicable, be given an opportunity
to express its views before any direction is given under this
subsection.

 
(2) The decision of the Central Government whether a question is
a matter of policy or not shall be final.”

 
Board of Governors of the MCI is, therefore, bound by the Corrigendum
issued by the Central Government.

 

21. We notice that the above corrigendum extending the last date was made
applicable only to the Government medical colleges recording the reason
that the time would be very short so as to process the applications by the
MCI received from the non-government medical colleges. We cannot say that
the decision taken by the Central Government is perverse, arbitrary or
unreasonable, so as to strike down the corrigendum issued under the extra-
ordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of
India.

 

22. The petitions, therefore, lack in merits and are accordingly
dismissed.

 

………………………….…J.
(K. S. Radhakrishnan)

 

 

 

 

 
…………………………….J.
A. K. Sikri)
New Delhi,
September 18, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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