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HC dismisses plea of medical college

Shimla: In a setback to Maharshi Markendeshwar Medical College and Hospital (MMMCH) in Solan, the Himachal Pradesh High Court today dismissed a petition filed by it seeking striking down of the amendments to the HP Private Medical Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fee) Act, 2006.

In its 42-page judgement delivered today, the division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan said, “While the Medical Council of India (MCI) has been assigned the paramount role of according recognition, the affiliation is best left to the State Government/ University/examining body.”

“…and, therefore, it is beyond the competence of the MCI or the central government to dictate terms to the state insofar as the question of grant of ‘affiliation’ is concerned or direct the state to affiliate a medical college to a particular university,” it said.

“We find no merit in this petition and the same is accordingly dismissed along with all applications leaving the parties to bear their own costs,” the order said.

The petitioner had sought striking down the amendments to sections 3(6), 3(6)(a) and 3(6)(b) of the HP Private Medical Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fee) Act, 2006 as amended vide Amendment Act No.24 of 2015 as null and void being wholly arbitrary, grossly mala fide, in contravention of the law settled by the Supreme Court and in naked breach of the fundamental rights of the petitioners.

It sought issuing of orders of appropriate nature that MMMCH or any other intuition of medical streams which may be started by petitioners be governed by the MMU (Establishment and Regulation) Act.

The state government had notified the amended act on September 30, 2015 and the amendment to section 3 of the principal Act, for sub-section (6), stated that “If the State Government is satisfied that the institution affiliated to the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) or any other University has contravened any of the provisions of this Act, it may recommend to that University for withdrawal of recognition or affiliation of such institution”.

Sub-section 6-a stated that HPU shall have the exclusive power to affiliate private medical education institutions set up in the state and these colleges are “bound to comply with all the rules, directions and notifications issued by the state government”.

The high court said that ‘recognition’ and ‘affiliation’ are separate issues and the moot questions that arise for consideration in the instant petition is as to which authority has the power to decide regarding the affiliation of medical college and upheld the amendments and ruled.