Will health min stop Desai from lording over MCI by proxy?

Objections raised against Jayshree Mehta’s election as president


Pankaj Kumar | December 13, 2013

The Medical Council of India (MCI) this week elected a new chief after three and a half years, as Dr Jayshree Mehta was elected unopposed, but this does not mean the end of controversy. The shadow of Dr Ketan Desai, the controversial former MCI chief who was seen returning once again to the top post, looms large on the body that controls medical education in the country.

A section of medical circles say that though Desai could not manage capture the post this time since a court trial is pending against him, he has very much managed to restore his clout at MCI by managing the election of someone close to him.

That was always a possibility, since at least 25 of the 82 new members (elected or nominated), whose names were notified by the central government, are said to owe allegiance to Desai.

Dr Kunal Saha, who has been campaigning for a cleanup of healthcare sector and also against Desai’s return to MCI, has written to the health minister, objecting to the election. “There are violations of provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act and election rules as well as in notification of the names of MCI members by the Health Ministry nominated by central government under section 3 (1) (e) of IMC Act,” said Dr saha.

The unopposed election of Mehta has raised several questions among the medical fraternity and in the ministry. Some speculate if the new regime at MCI will revoke Desai’s suspension? He has to pass this last hurdle to get his name notified because the previous three boards of governors, appointed by the government, did not clear his name due to the pending court trials.

Desai was arrested in April 2010 by CBI while allegedly accepting bribe for granting recognition to a medical college. This later led to the suspension of his licence.



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