Ethics committee, MCI: Why die hard supporter was shown the door

name of former president of Indian Medical Association (IMA) dropped from the committee

pankaj

Pankaj Kumar | February 7, 2015 | New Delhi


#Medical council of india   #ethics committee MCI   #Dr Ajay Kumar  

The ethics committee of Medical Council of India (MCI) has been reconstituted with a surprise element this time.

Name of former president of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and member of World Medical Association (WMA), Dr Ajay Kumar who is a loyalist of medical heavyweight Dr Ketan Desai is missing.

Both Kumar and Desai are known to be close to each other and Kumar had been bailed out of many cases.

Recently, People for Better Treatment (PBT) leveled a serious allegation against the Kumar for misleading with the facts before World Medical Association.

Chairman, PBT Dr Kunal Saha said “during the WMA conference Dr Kumar along with other members of IMA made false claim that all charges of corruption against Dr Desai were dropped by CBI, which to a greater extent was the reason why Dr Desai was reinstated as elect president of WMA for 2016.”

The chief vigilance officer (CVO), MCI too had found Dr Kumar and two other senior members of IMA guilty of spreading the wrong information to reinstall Dr Desai as a WMA President. The CVO had submitted its report more than three months back but no action was taken against Dr Kumar. Credit, of course, goes to Desai. 

This is not the isolated case of Dr Kumar sailing through rough waters. Kumar who faced severe criticism in the matter related to Dr K V Babu where he was accused of being party to the decision to endorse the commercial products. However, in spite of this Dr Kumar was made the member of ethics committee in 2014.

Interestingly, the same ethics committee had penalized him in 2010 when government appointee was running the council as Board of governors. Not only this, the major controversy reported in media was summoning a non doctor Bindu K V to appear before the ethics committee on 19 July 2014 in Delhi.

Such was the clout of Dr Kumar and his master that no action was taken against him despite the fact that some important parliamentarians and civil rights activists expressed deep displeasure over the conduct of the ethics committee and wrote letter to the minister of Health and Family welfare minister.

The ouster of Dr Kumar has left even surprised the insiders.

The reason are many but according to some with a ringside view of the whole power play, the most important was a reported difference that emerged between Dr Kumar and Desai on certain issues.

On January 15, 2014, a matter was to be heard by ethics committee regarding the negligent attitude of some of the eminent doctors of the country. Matter was related with the death of Justice J S Verma who family has accused various doctors for their negligent attitude which includes some big names like Dr Trehan, Dr Randeep Sood, Dr Kasniwal and Dr Dubey.

This matter was being heard by MCI and all doctors appeared in person except Dr Naresh Trehan whose lawyer Indu Melhotra was present on his behalf.

What followed was touted as reason behind the rift between Dr Kumar and Desai. An official who had witnessed to all the vents told Governance Now, “As the proceedings were about to being, Kumar, a member from the ethics committee objected to the presence of a young boy whose name was not there in the list of complainants. The objection visible his irked the family of late justice J S Verma.”

The young boy was Verma’s grandson but he was not the complainant. He was present along with other family members of Justice Verma.
 
Sources further said that reacting sharply to the objection Dilip Mathur, son in law of late justice Verma said to Dr Kumar “who are you? You are biased and I will get you removed from the ethics committee.”

After being reprimanded Dr Kumar rescued himself from the proceedings that day. However Mathur went on to write wrote a complaint to the president, MCI, Jai Sri Mehta seeking Dr Kumar removal’s from the matter. 

Governance now has the exclusive copy of the complaint sent by the Dr Dilip Mathur to MCI’s president.

Surprisingly the ardent supporter of Dr Desai was not only removed from the matter but from the committee itself.

When Governance Now approached Dr kumar on phone then he replied “I have got too much work as a chairmanof grievance cell so I agreed to her (MCI President’s) decision.”

When  asked why he was serving the ethics committee for a year if he had too much work then Dr Kumar tersely replied, “ Every question asked by you cannot be answered.”

Clearly, he did not want to reveal the real cause but the timing of his removal raises several questions. One member of the council on the condition of anonymity said,“Dr Kumar was removed because de-facto head and ruler of the council could never dare to annoy any one from the legal luminaries like Justice Verma. In this case Dr Kumar failed to get the support of Dr Desai which led to his ouster from the ethics committee”.

MCI president refused to take our call.

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