MCI panel to review moves of board set up by Centre

As the government remains in limbo awaiting election results, the executive council (EC) of the Medical Council of India (MCI), in an unprecedented move, decided to review all policy decisions taken by the board of governors nominated by the government from May 2010 to November 2013.In effect, the new council will be reviewing policy decisions taken by MCI for three and a half years, including important ones such as bringing professional associations of doctors under the ambit of MCI and the decision to suspend former MCI president Ketan Desai, who was charged with corruption, from practising medicine.

The EC headed by MCI president Jaysreeben Mehta has questioned the constitution of the board of governors, saying it was not in conformity with the basic intent of the Indian Medical Council Act. The basic intent was that the number of elected members be more than double the nominated members to give representation to all quarters of medical professionals in the council, said the minutes of the EC meeting on April 16, posted on the MCI website.

“It was expected that such a BOG during the short transit (sic) period, ought to have had discharged only day-to-day functions of the council and had not involved/engaged themselves in taking policy decisions,“ said the minutes of the meeting. They added that all policy decisions taken during the period that were not in conformity with the letter and spirit of the act would “deserve to be revisited“ to bring them in conformity with the scheme of the act. Policy decisions found to be in conflict with the provisions or scheme of the act would be “void and are unenforceable“, said the EC.

MCI was disbanded in 2010 for being allegedly rife with corruption after its president was arrested by CBI on charges of accepting a bribe to grant recognition to a private college. The government had earlier superseded MCI by issuing an ordinance in May 2010. The health ministry promulgated the ordinance four times seeking extension of the tenure of the BoG governing MCI till November last year, when the ministry appointed 68 new members to restore the council's autonomy .

“How can the EC question the BOG which was constituted under an ordinance signed by the President? We will be filing a case in this regard,“ said Dr Kunal Saha, founder president of the non-profit People for Better Treatment.

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