Delhi High Court has dismissed a PIL alleging that the University College of Medical Sciences was fraudulently misappropriating funds by claiming to run the Department of TB and Respiratory Medicine in collusion with National Medical Commission officials.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was devoid of merit and dismissed it, noting that the material on record indicates that the University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) has a separate Department of Respiratory Medicine, headed by Dr Amit Kumar Verma along with other faculty members.
The PIL sought action against National Medical Commission (NMC) officials for conducting alleged fraud inspections and submitting fabricated reports of a non-existent Department of TB and Respiratory Medicine at UCMS and Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital.
The bench noted that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also filed its counter affidavit stating that Verma is the head of the Department of Respiratory Medicine.
“The office order dated June 28, 2022, issued by the Office of the Medical Director, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, appointing Dr Amit Kumar Verma, Professor, as the Head of the Department of Respiratory Medicine with a direction to constitute a new Department of Respiratory Medicine with 21 beds has also been filed along with the counter affidavit,” it said.
The high court’s order came on a PIL by RK Tarun, a lawyer, in which it was stated that UCMS is a constituent college of the Delhi University and it imparts various medical and paramedical courses to both undergraduate and postgraduate medical students after obtaining requisite approval from the NMC.
The petitioner contended that UCMS claims to have a full-fledged Department of TB and Respiratory Medicine/Pulmonary Medicine, which it does not possess.
The plea submitted that without having the requisite infrastructure, students are being admitted into UCMS in violation of the norms laid down by the NMC.
The NMC, in its counter affidavit filed through advocate T Singhdev, submitted that UCMS is attached to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital for teaching and training of its students and, initially, permission was granted for intake of 150 students and the same was increased to 170 under the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) quota from the 2019-20 academic year.
According to regulations, it said, it is mandatory for every medical college to possess a Department of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases and after the Minimum Requirements for Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations, 2020, was notified in the official gazette in 2020, every college must possess a separate Department of Respiratory Medicine.
The NMC submitted that UCMS had applied for renewal of recognition of MBBS seats in June 2021 and an inspection was conducted in which it was seen that it has a separate Department of Respiratory Medicine.
The Delhi University, in its affidavit, also stated that the Department of Respiratory Medicine is fully functional with 21 beds and Verma has been appointed as head of the department along with the other faculty members.