CPS Admissions row: HC directs state to provide all documents to institute for show-cause reply

Mumbai: While considering the matter concerning admission to the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS) courses, the Bombay High Court directed the State on Monday to provide all documents to CPS so that it can answer the show-cause notice issued by the Medical Education Department of the State.

Directing the State to provide the documents, the HC bench of Justice Gautam Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale has listed the matter for further hearing on April 26, 2023.

Established back in 1912, CPS Mumbai is an autonomous body that imparts Postgraduate medical education and offers fellowship, diploma, and certificate courses for medical professionals. For the Diploma courses, the tenure is of two years and in case of Fellowship, the tenure is three years. After obtaining the qualification granted by CPS Mumbai, the practitioners become allowed to register themselves as specialists in the concerned specialty.

The controversy regarding CPS admissions in Maharashtra commenced after referring to significant gaps in the standards of institutes offering College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS) affiliated courses, the medical education department of Maharashtra recently wrote to the Union Health Ministry asking for its opinion on whether counselling can be conducted for around 1,100 CPS seats.

Writing to the Centre, the department referred to the inspection of the Maharashtra Medical Council conducted last year and how during the inspection, MMC had found “severe deficiencies” in several institutes.

Also Read: CPS Admissions row: Medical Education dept serves another notice to CPS seeking Explanation

Recently Union Minister Nitin Gadkari supported the Association of CPS Affiliated Institutes and writing to the State Secretary, Gadkari pointed out that in case of any further delays in the admission process of 2022, the association has expressed fear that the State could lose altogether 1,100 CPS seats.

However, the State Medical Education Department did not change its decision and sent a show-cause notice to the CPS management and demanded an explanation regarding the deficiencies found in its affiliated institutes by March 21. Meanwhile, CPS approached the Bombay HC bench and filed a plea in this regard seeking to restart the admission process.

As per the latest media report by the Times of India, the counsel for CPS, Senior Advocate Ravi Kadam contended that the notice had been issued on the basis of a report issued by the administrator who had been appointed after the term of the Maharashtra Medical Council ended in August 2022. Therefore, referring to this fact, CPS challenged the appointment of the said administrator and argued that the report was consequentially illegal.

He submitted, “The whole scheme is to knock us out.”

While the court opined that the State must be given a change to submit a reply to the plea, Advocate Kadam prayed for urgent relief as he referred to the fact that Joshi was not giving clearance for counselling.

On the other hand, the counsel for the State, Senior advocate Milind Sathe submitted that the admissions had not started because the Government wanted to ensure that the colleges had the necessary infrastructure, faculty members and staff.

When the court questioned if the entire record had been provided along with the show-cause notice, Advocate Kadam submitted that a few documents had been given on April 5 after filing a right to information application.

Referring to a past incident, he submitted, “I am a 100-year-old institution. Not a fly-by-night operator … The high court has dealt with her conduct.”

In this context, Advocate Kadam also argued that reports of two central committees, including one by cardiac surgeon Devi Shetty, were in favour of CPS. He submitted, “The report is by the administrator who has no power.”

At this point, the HC bench observed that CPS must be provided with every document. The bench directed the State, “You (state) will ensure every report and recommendation is given to them. This lady (Joshi) will give them every single scrap of paper.”

When the judges inquired about the hurry for the hearing, the counsel for the State submitted that CPS wanted to commence counselling. The bench ordered, “Don’t do it till Tuesday (April 25).’

Also Read: CPS admissions row: Centre Constitutes Committee to Look into CPS Courses Recognition

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