Division bench of Justices Mr. K.J. Sengupta and Mr. A.K. Mondal of Calcutta High Court admitted another historic public interest litigation (PIL) filed by PBT challenging the recently created Adhoc West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC). The High Court directed the state government and WBMC to file their response within two weeks and the case would come up for final hearing after three weeks (see HC order below).
The WBMC has long been believed to be a den of corruption. They found no fault with the treatment by the senior Kolkata doctors Sukumar Mukherjee, (late) Abani Roychowdhury and Baidyanath Halder who were responsible for the wrongful death of PBT president Kunal Saha’s wife, Anuradha Saha. Ironically, Medical Council of India (MCI) and even the Supreme Court have held these doctors guilty for gross medical negligence. However, like the state of West Bengal, the WBMC was also ruled by doctors who belonged to the Left-front parties for the past more than three decades. When Mamta Banerjee’s Trinomul party swept away the Left-front government in 2011, election for WBMC was already long overdue. But instead of holding a new and fair election to form a new medical council in a transparent manner, Mamta Banerjee (who is both chief minister and health minister) decided to establish an Adhoc WBMC with 10 hand-picked doctors who are loyal supporters of the Trinomul party (including two sitting MLAs) in the most brazen and dictatorial fashion. The PIL was filed seeking immediate disbandment of the Adhoc WBMC and to form a new medical council through a new, fair and transparent election (see the PIL below).