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Judiciary

'Seen Munna Bhai MBBS?': Supreme Court to Medical College Accused of Showing Fake Patients During Inspection

By Vaibhav Gattani      16 February, 2022 11:24 AM      0 Comments
Seen Munna Bhai MBBS Supreme Court Medical College

The Supreme Court in the case of National Medical Commission v. Annasaheb Chudaman Patil Memorial Medical College and Ors. made some strong observations against a private medical college accused of falsifying records to reflect inflated patient intake.

A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud observed how the allegations seemed to be straight out of bollywood movie Munnabhai MBBS.

"This is a case where in a paediatric ward, all children were admitted without any problems. Have you seen the Munnabhai MBBS movie, counsel? How did the hospital have fake patients? Illness does not end on Makar Sankranti. This is a case of falsifying records Mr Singhvi," Justice Chandrachud told Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was appearing for the college.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud further said “I was looking at their additional documents this morning. They say that the patients over there were absolutely hale and hearty! In the paediatric ward, the children who have no problem are there!”

Have you seen the movie Munnabhai MBBS?” asked the judge.

Yes, Your Lordships. It is a delightful movie. But, I need some natural justice. I am running since 1992. The number of admitted seats is 100. From 15th July 2021, I get recognition to continue for the next academic year, that is, 2021-2022, for the same 100 seats. I applied to increase from 100 to 150..the power to not give me 50 is one part, we are not concerned with it. But the power to withdraw even the continuing 100 does not lie on this inspection, or the MARB (Medical Assessment and Rating Board). MARB is the unit of the Commission which does the inspection…The bizzare thing about the impugned order (of the Bombay High Court by which a fresh inspection was ordered) is that the impugned prder does not record any of my contentions. So I filed a modification…my original 100 seats is no point at all. There can be no dispute regarding the 100 seats. My point was only to ask for the additional 50. They came for inspection on Makar Sankranti on 14 January 2022. The Act and the regulations prohibit inspection on a holiday. Sankranti in Maharashtra is a holiday.” 

At this, Justice Chandrachud remarked, “But illness does not stop on Makar Sankranti”.

The Bench, which also comprised Justice Surya Kant, was hearing an appeal filed by National Medical Commission (NMC) against a Bombay High Court judgment which had allowed re-inspection of Annasaheb Chudaman Patil Memorial Medical College after the increased intake of medical students was cancelled by NMC.

The college had applied for increasing its intake from 100 to 150 students for the MBBS course. It had submitted a letter of undertaking, after which the intake was increased. However, on January 14, 2022, a surprise inspection was conducted based on which the NMC withdrew the permission for the increase in intake.

This was challenged before the High Court, which gave an option to the medical college to either go for re-inspection or avail appellate remedy. The college opted for the former.

The High Court order was challenged by the NMC before the Supreme Court on the ground that it was passed without noticing the provisions of the NMC Act. The college was also aggrieved that the inspection was not conducted properly and there was gross negligence during the same.

The Court, after hearing the parties, set aside the High Court order and restored the matter before the High Court to be heard and decided afresh.

"Medical College says there cannot be any dispute about the original complement of 100 seats. High Court has not dealt with submission by rival parties and thus we cannot intervene under Article 136. We set aside the impugned orders of High Court and restore the plea before High Court," the Court said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for NMC. Dr. Singhvi and Senior Advocate Nidhesh Gupta appeared for the medical college.

 



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