Despite a great deal of public interests with the two major appeals pending before the Ethics Committee of the newly formed Medical Council of India (MCI) for permanent cancellation of registrations of Dr. Ketan Desai (corrupt ex-president of MCI) and Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee/Dr. Baidyanath Halder (found guilty for causing death of Anuradha Saha), the “Ethics Committee” and “Board of Governors” have remained dead silent about these investigations that have been pending for 6 months and 2 years for Desai and Anuradha’s case, respectively. While PBT filed the appeal against Dr. Desai, Dr. Kunal Saha (PBT’s president) filed the personal appeal against Dr. Mukherjee/Dr. Halder. Ironically, MCI’s own rule (Section 8.4 of Code of Ethics) mandates, “Decision on complaint against delinquent physician shall be taken within a time-limit of 6 months”.
PBT has learnt that the Ethics Committee would meet again on March 8, 2011, but MCI has remained dead silent even after repeated attempts to learn whether these matters would be heard on this day. Previously, Dr. A.K. Mahapatra (head of Neurosurgery at AIIMS), a member of the Ethics Committee, was caught red-handed while emailing Dr. Arun Bal (Ethics Committee chair) urging him to “just ignore” any call for justice in these pending appeals.
When the new “Board of Governors” was abruptly put at the helm of the MCI after Dr. Desai was arrested last year by the CBI, they promised complete honesty and transparency in the functioning of the highest medical regulatory body in India. Almost one year later, the picture is very clear – it is the same old wine in a new bottle. While corrupt Dr. Desai and the two killer doctors of Anuradha obviously rejoice this deliberate and endless delay by the MCI, hundreds of justice-seekers and ordinary people continue to fall prey to unethical treatment and medical negligence by the Indian doctors. Ironically, the term of this “Board of Governors” will expire on May 15, 2011 as per the Ordinance 2010. Is this dead silence and inaction by the new MCI only to run out the clock and wriggle out of the present situation without offending any of their errant medical colleagues like Desai, Mukherjee or Halder?