The division bench of Justices Mr. K.J. Sengupta and Mr. A.K. Ray dismissed the plea taken by the West Bengal Medical Council today (Sept. 27) that the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by PBT seeking immediate election to form a new state medical council is not maintainable. This PIL (W.P. No. 8971/2012) was filed earlier this year since the WBMC has been functioning through an Adhoc body of members without a legitimate election which is due since 2010. According to the Bengal Council Act, election for a new state medical council should be held every five years. The last election for WBMC took place in 2005. The last WBMC members (all affiliated with the previous Left-front state government) continued without holding any election in 2010. However, after a sweeping defeat in the assembly election in 2011, Trinomul-Congress government led by Ms. Mamata Banerjee came to power in West Bengal. Unfortunately, they also basically followed the foot-steps of the previous government.
While the Left-front loyal members of the previous WBMC were removed, instead of holding a fair and impartial election as per law, the Trinomul government formed an Adhoc medical council with 10 hand-picked loyal doctor-supporters in the most brazen and undemocratic manner despite repeated requests from PBT. Eventually, the PIL was filed seeking to disband the Adhoc council and to establish a new WBMC through a fresh election according to the law (see copy of PIL below). The HC today started to hear the final argument and it will continue next Thursday. The WBMC has long been a den of corruption. Seventeen members of the previous WBMC including their president, Dr. Ashok Chowdhury, have been indicted recently for criminal conspiracy to shield two of their senior colleagues, Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee and Dr. Baidyanath Halder, who were responsible for the wrongful death of Anuradha Saha. A trial court in Kolkata has issued processes under IPC Section 120b (“criminal conspiracy”) and Section 201 (“screening offender”) as the 17 doctor-members face the criminal trial which is presently being heard by the Calcutta HC.