Virtually conceding that it had no powers under the existing rules to remove the arrested Medical Council of India chief, Ketan Desai, the government on Tuesday said it will make a new law to empower itself in dealing with such situations.
Replying to a Calling Attention Motion in the Rajya Sabha by a CPI(M) MP P. Rajeeve, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said he has sought the law ministry’s advice on how to proceed in the case against the MCI president, arrested by the CBI on charges of corruption.
Azad said the law governing the MCI was more than five decades old and the latest attempt to amend it in 2005 failed following “adverse comments” by the parliamentary standing committee.
“We want an over arching body not only for the MCI, but for the Dental Council, for Ayurveda, for nursing and for our paramedical staff,” the minister said.”Consultations are on with the state governments on the proposed National Council for Human Resources on Health Bill, which provides for an over-arching body,” Azad said.
“Once this body comes into being, it will take care of everything and existing bodies will be subsumed in that. Then I don’t think there will be any role of this regulatory organization,” an agitated health minister said.
He appealed to all the MPs to support the new law for fixing the tenure of MCI president and vice president and empowering the government to act firmly. Action could not be taken since the ministry and the parliamentary committee were not on the same wavelength in 2005 on these amendments,” he said.
Unhappy over the media reports regarding the government inaction in the matter, Azad said, “Nobody can raise a finger against (my) ministry.”
Earlier, moving the motion, P Rajeeve (CPI-M) said assets worth Rs 2,500 crore were seized from Desai, who was retained as the MCI boss despite the High Court stating in 2001 that the body had become a den of corruption.
Other members who participated in the discussion used strong language against the MCI. Rajniti Prasad (RJD) wanted it to be dissolved and Rama Jois (BJP) said it was in “need of an immediate surgery. Brinda Karat (CPI-M) dubbed it as “Medical Corruption of India.”