The News Minute:New Delhi: Sunday, February 5, 2017.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has come down hard on the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) rampant corruption including its attempt to protect disgraced ex-MCI president Ketan Desai, in response to an RTI application.
The CIC is the highest authority for enforcing the RTI Act and it made the adverse comments as part of an order issued on January 9, 2017.
Appellant/complainant Kunal Saha had filed an RTI application on behalf of People for Better Treatment (PBT) on October 3, 2015, asking the MCI to provide information under 10 points, with copies of all documents including present status of the complaint / appeal dated October 8, 2010, filed against Ketan Desai.
PBT had sought information under the RTI Act, 2005 about various aspects of MCI’s functioning including their protection of Desai who is out on bail facing serious charges of bribery and whose medical licence has been suspended since 2010.
It may be noted that despite this, Desai was appointed President of the World Medical Association in October 2016.
However, the MCI failed to provide the requested details and the CIC censured the MCI for its deliberate suppression of information for investigation of complaints against negligent doctors or proper inspection of medical colleges.
The MCI refused to divulge any information about Desai on the bogus plea that the Ethics Committee was conducting an investigation on the issue.
The CIC has also come down heavily against MCI for non-transparency in relation to investigation of complaints of “medical negligence”. It has directed MCI that all materials related to investigation of doctors including the minutes of the Ethics Committee meetings be uploaded on MCI website for public scrutiny in order to bring justice for the alleged victims.
With regard to corruption involved in inspection of medical colleges across India, CIC has directed the MCI to provide information about the “qualification” and “basis of appointment” of the Inspectors of medical colleges.
The CIC has further directed MCI to provide information about large payments made to the lawyers and Senior Advocates that are routinely spent by the medical council to shield the unscrupulous MCI members and officials.
The CIC has directed the CPIO (Central Public Information Officer), Medical Council of India to make available the information requestedwithin three weeks of receipt of the order, with a copy marked to the Commission.