A bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and N V Ramana said that undoubtedly, there is something rotten in the state of medical colleges.
Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS)
The Apex Court imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on an Odisha-based private medical college (KIMS) for raising the number of seats from 100 to 150 in an academic year and “playing with the future of students”.
However, for the fault of KIMS, the students should not suffer nor should KIMS get away scot free. KIMS must pay for its inability to introspect and venture into adventurist litigation. Accordingly, the bench directed as follows:
- The admission granted to the 50 students pursuant to the order of the High Court dated 25th September, 2015 and the provisional permission granted by the Central Government only on 28th September, 2015 shall not be disturbed.
- How the students will complete their course of studies without putting undue pressure on them is entirely for the MCI and KIMS and other concerned authorities to decide.
- Costs of Rs. 5 crores are imposed on KIMS for playing with the future of its students and the mess that it has created for them.
- The amount will be deposited by KIMS in the Registry of this Court within six weeks from today.
- The amount of Rs. 5 crores so deposited towards costs shall not be recovered in any manner from any student or adjusted against the fees or provision of facilities for students of any present or subsequent batches.
- KIMS is restrained from increasing the intake of students from 100 students to 150 students for the MBBS course for the academic year 2016-17 and 2017-2018. The MCI and the Central Government shall enforce strict compliance of this direction.
- The MCI or the Central Government will proceed to take action against KIMS (if deemed advisable) under Clause 8(3) of the Medical Council of India Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999 (as amended) as mentioned in the communication of 15th June, 2015 of the Central Government.
- During the hearing of the appeal, it is informed that there is no fixed, set or laid down procedure prepared by the MCI for conducting an inspection or assessment as postulated by the Medical Council of India Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999.
- Rather than every Inspection Team following its own procedure for conducting an assessment, the MCI should in consultation with the Central Government prepare a Standard Operating Procedure for conducting an inspection as required by the Medical Council of India Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999.
- The Standard Operating Procedure should be finalized within a period of six weeks from today and should be accessible on the website of the MCI.
- To introduce transparency and accountability in the medical colleges, the report or assessment of the Inspection Team should be put up on the website of the concerned medical college as also on the website of the MCI so that potential students are aware of what is likely to be in store for them.
- Similarly, the decision of the Central Government on the report should be put up on the website of the concerned medical college as also on the website of the MCI.