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HomeIndiaGovernanceMedical education mess: CJI Mishra hears over 100 cases in 5 hours

Medical education mess: CJI Mishra hears over 100 cases in 5 hours

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About 50 medical education colleges had moved the apex court in the past few weeks seeking renewal of permission even though the Centre had denied it.

The mess in the medical education sector returned to take up valuable time of the Supreme Court Monday with Chief Justice Dipak Mishra hearing in less than five hours more than a hundred cases of colleges seeking permission to continue functioning.

About 50 medical colleges had moved the apex court in the past few weeks seeking renewal of permission even though the central government had denied it. Another 50-odd cases have been pending in the court since 2016.

Last year, the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee had allowed conditional licences to many of these colleges, which were later revoked by the government. The oversight committee headed by former chief justice R.M. Lodha ended its controversial year-long term in July but the constant tussle between the government and the panel had disrupted functioning of medical colleges last year.

While the court confirmed the Lodha committee recommendations to grant conditional licences to as many as 32 colleges, it denied permissions to many other colleges.

The colleges approaching the court in the admission season is an annual affair but this year cases have increased. “The court would usually not interfere because there were deadlines set in advance, but this year all these colleges have been given an extra opportunity,” a government lawyer involved in the case said.

Mondays and Fridays are reserved usually for miscellaneous cases and not more 40 cases are listed for the two days. The chief justice, however, heard 115 cases Monday.

According to Gaurav Sharma, the advocate appearing for the MCI, around 40 more cases are likely to be heard in the coming week. Many of them were mentioned individually before Justice Mishra in the weeks before his appointment as CJI.

Many medical colleges have even approached high courts in their states and have been granted relief in some cases. This has made the task difficult for the MCI to monitor functioning of such colleges.

For instance, Al-Azhar Medical College in Idukki moved the Kerala High Court and sought extension of recognition, even when the case was pending in the apex court.
The top court in July appointed a team of five eminent doctors to oversee the MCI after the Lodha panel was dissolved. The new team is likely to set up an office in the AIIMS campus in Delhi.

The MCI did not respond to requests for comment by ThePrint.

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