The Madras High Court has quashed charges against administrators of a medical college and dismissed CBI's petitions opposing discharge of officials of two other medical colleges, saying the investigation agency, or any other external agency for that matter, has no jurisdiction to probe the affairs of a medical college.
Quashing the charges against the administrators of a medical college and dismissing CBI’s petitions opposing the discharge of officials of two other medical colleges, Justice Aruna Jagadeesan said, "Contravention of rules and regulations may be an offence against the statute but is not a crime. There is no room or jurisdiction for any external agency to investigate the affairs of any medical institution coming within the purview of the Medical Council of India."
In identical set of orders, all delivered on August 6, Justice Jagadeesan said, "The shortfall in faculties and submissions of fake/forged documents would only disentitle the institution from getting renewal or permission. Also, the errant medical doctors would be dealt with accordingly by the MCI."
Pointing out that erring doctors would face expulsion from the state medical register and the guilty institutions would lose recognition, the judge said such contraventions could not be considered a crime punishable under provisions of the Indian Penal Code or Prevention of Corruption Act.
Neither the MCI nor the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, who are the actual aggrieved parties, has lodged any complaint, the judge said, adding, none of the doctors who are alleged to have filed declaration forms before the MCI stating that they worked with these institutions, had been cited as accused persons.
Also, the then Chairman of MCI Ketan Desai, who was cited as the first accused in the first information report, was removed from the charge sheet along with some MCI inspectors.
"The exclusion of principal offenders from being prosecuted and seeking to fasten the liability on other conspirators is opposed to rule of law," the judge said.
The essential ingredients of cheating and criminal conspiracy too had not been made out against the accused, she said.
The three colleges -- Puducherry-based Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute near Chengalpet, and Melmaruvathur Adhiparasakthi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research --faced CBI probe for allegedly forging documents and parading faculty members who did not exist on their payrolls, said N Chandrasekaran, special public prosecutor for CBI.
On July 16, Justice Jagadeesan had discharged an official of Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute accused of demanding capitation fee, saying he was a staff member of a private university and hence could not be tried for offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, which was meant to haul up public/government servants.
In the case of Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Melmaruvathur Adhi Parasakthi Institute, a trial court had discharged them from the case after CBI filed the charge sheet.
As for Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, the court has now quashed the charges.