SC admits PIL against former MCI chief Ketan Desai's election to university senate

A division bench of Justice H L Dattu and Justice Ranjan Gogoi has admitted special leave petition filed by an NGO - People for Better Treatment (PBT) and its NRI head Dr Kunal Saha against election to the Gujarat University senate of former Medical Council of India (MCI) chief - Dr Ketan Desai.

Dr Saha and his organization have been filing various litigations to prevent Desai's possible re-entry in the MCI. He has questioned the Gujarat high court's decision to reject his public interest litigation filed last year. 

Last year, Dr Saha requested the high court to direct the GU chancellor, before whom he had made representations to declare Desai's election to senate as illegal. The bench in HC had junked the PIL saying that it is not maintainable, particularly when the same court had rejected a PIL on the same issue a year before also. On the previous occasion, the petitioner had sought HC directions to the university authorities to declare the election of Desai as illegal. 

Later, he sought directions from the high court to the governor of Gujarat Dr Kamla, who is Gujarat University's chancellor also, to decide on his representation seeking removal of Desai from the university's senate. The petitioner wanted Desai to be disqualified as a senate member on the ground that with his arrest on corruption charges, Desai's licence to practice got cancelled. 

When the HC turned down his plea, PBT moved the Supreme Court and upon inquiry, the university clarified that Desai was not elected to the senate in the category of medical practitioner at all. Instead, the former MCI chief was elected uncontested in the category of qualified physician, that any person that has an MBBS degree can contest election in that category. 

PBT had to withdraw the PIL from the SC, but the apex court permitted the NGO to make a representation before an appropriate authority, which is the governor in this case, for she is the chancellor of the university. Hence, PBT has come up with another PIL stating that two representations were made before the governor, but she has not responded to them or taken any action. This is the second round of litigation by the petitioner.

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