The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by PBT against the sinister selection of disgraced ex-MCI president, Dr. Ketan Desai, to head the World Medical Association (WMA) was heard yesterday by the division bench of Delhi High Court (headed by Chief Justice) as the court reserved its order on the question of “maintainability” which was raised by the lawyers representing the MCI, Govt. of India and Indian Medical Association (IMA) as the court has reserved order for November 2, 2015 (see the news below). In this historic PIL, PBT has challenged Dr. Desai’s promotion as the WMA president-elect which was orchestrated by senior members of MCI/IMA who had made the false claim before the world medical body that all charges of corruption against Dr. Desai have been dropped by the Indian authority. The fact remains that Dr. Desai has been criminally indicted and still waiting for criminal trial following his arrest by the CBI in 2010 when he was caught red-handed for taking Rs. 2 crore bribe allegedly for granting MCI recognition to a private medical college.
It is surprising that not only the MCI and IMA, even the Govt. of India (health ministry) argued to defend Dr. Desai as they urged the court to dismiss PBT’s writ petition on the ground of “maintainability”. In fact, Additional Solicitor General, Mr. Sanjay Jain, appeared and took the side of Dr. Desai along with other senior advocates representing MCI and IMA. On the other hand, Sr. Advocate Mr. M.N. Krishnamani appeared on behalf of PBT and argued that apart from removal of Dr. Desai from the post of WMA president-elect, the PIL has also sought independent investigation of corruption inside MCI and strict disciplinary action against senior MCI member, Dr. Ajay Kumar, who was found guilty for “unethical conduct” by the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) for helping Dr. Desai to become WMA president-elect and thus, this writ petition cannot be dismissed on the ground of “maintainability”. While we will wait with bated breath for the final order to be delivered by the Delhi High Court on 2nd November, an obvious question remains as to why the central government took the side of corrupt Dr. Ketan Desai instead of looking for the interest of ordinary citizens who have been paying a heavy price for the abysmal condition of medical education and healthcare system that have been plundered for decades by Dr. Desai and his cronies?
The role of IMA in our fight against medical corruption in India also becomes apparent as following the hearing of this important PIL yesterday, IMA has issued a “press release” (available at http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/indian-medical-association-refutes-allegations-being-targeted-towards-president-elect-of-the-world-medical-association—dr-ketan-desai-531670081.html) strongly defending Dr. Desai and criticizing the allegations raised against Dr. Desai a relevant portion of which is reproduced below:
“Padma Shri Awardees – Dr. A Marthanda Pillai, National President and Dr. K K Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA, in a joint statement said, “Actions speak louder than words and the pivotal role played by Dr. Desai in streamlining the medical profession cannot be undermined by a few false accusations. The truth must come to the forefront and mere politics must not deter him from taking his rightful place as the President of the World Medical Association.”