Indian Express: New Delhi: Saturday, February 04, 2017.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed Medical Council of India (MCI) to disclose details of disciplinary proceedings against its former president Ketan Desai. It has been pulled up the MCI for violating its earlier directives and denying information about Desai without reasons to substantiate the denial.
In a recent order, Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad directed the MCI to disclose the status of complaints against Desai and the status of suspension of his medical registration. He observed that “mere pendency of final decision/examination/consideration of an issue is not good enough reason to deny information”. Azad added that the disclosure of information is “directly related to larger public interest”.
The MCI had denied information about the minutes of its Ethics Committee on complaints against Desai. “Merely stating that the minutes of the Ethics Committee are quasi judicial in nature does not make the same exempt under RTI Act, since there is no such provision under the Act,” said Azad. He added that the MCI needs to allow inspection of the relevant files regarding agenda of all meetings of MCI Ethics Committee since December 2013.
Kolkata-based appellant Kunal Saha had unsuccessfully sought the basis of appointment of the assessors, who conduct inspections on MCI’s behalf. The CIC has directed that “the qualification of the Professors or Associates who are assigned the task should also be made available to the appellant” in order to “enhance the faith of patients”.
The information is related to Desai’s alleged “criminal misconduct” that led to his suspension in October 2010. The CBI arrested him days later while the MCI suspended his medical practitioner license. But later Gujarat State Medical Council nominated him again to the MCI in October 2013. Desai became World Medical Association President in October last year.