TWO members from the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) are set to challenge — in the Bombay High Court — the state government’s decision to dissolve the council that regulates ethical practices of about 75,000 doctors across Maharashtra.
Even as an official notice to the MMC will be issued on Monday, the medical education department of the state government confirmed that an administrator, Dr Abhay Chowdhary, will be appointed in the interim period. The medical education department has also appointed an under-secretary, Ajit Sasulkar, as returning officer to conduct fresh elections to MMC.
A three-member committee of the state government, in its report, said that most allegations made by complainant Dr Avinash Yelikar, the MMC’s vice-president, were true. “The committee concluded that the members were involved in financial irregularities, were misusing their powers and certain doctors were being harassed at their hands,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, Director of Medical Education and Research (DMER). In absence of a president, the council’s functioning is to be run by its vice-president. In the report, the committee stated that the decision-making process was under other members when the council president, Dr Kishor Taori, had recently fallen ill.
The MMC is a state arm of the Indian Medical Council that registers allopathic doctors and can cancel or suspend licenses if it finds medical misconduct by any doctor. After a long gap where it remained defunct, MMC was reconstituted in 2011. Of 18-members in the council, nine are elected, and nine are appointed by the state government.
Following the decision to dissolve the MMC, the council’s executive committee member Dr Suhas Pingle said that he, along with another member Dr Shivkumar Utture, will now approach the Bombay High Court for a stay. “We are also in the process of discussing this with other council members for their support,” he said.
According to Utture, the council had written to the state government thrice since April this year to conduct fresh elections, held once every five years. “We have unofficially heard about the decision but since no notice has come, we are continuing to hold hearings to take decisions on medical negligence cases filed with us,” he said.