Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool government came to power in West Bengal in 2011 after more than three decades of disastrous ruling by the Left-front parties. The West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) has always been a puppet regulatory body controlled by the doctors who are close to the ruling government with same people being re-elected over and over again through bogus elections about which most doctors in the state had absolutely no idea. Like Dr. Ketan Desai in the MCI, one Dr. Ashok Chowdhury, close alley of CPM, stayed as WBMC president since the ’90s until Banerjee government swept to power in 2011. Dr. Chowdhury and 16 other WBMC members during his era have recently been indicted for “criminal conspiracy” (IPC Section 200 read with Section 120b) for shielding their friends (Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, Dr. Baidyanath Halder and late Dr. Abani Roychowdhury) who were grossly negligent and responsible for causing death of Anuradha Saha, wife of PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha.
But after coming to power in 2011, Trinamool government first removed all the Left-front doctors from WBMC and instead of holding a new election which was long overdue, they formed an Adhoc committee with 10-hand picked loyal doctor-supporters of the party including two sitting Trinamool MLAs to reap the same benefits as the previous members did for long 30-plus years. The heavy price of a corrupt medical council is being paid not just by the hapless patients but also many good and caring doctors who have to share the blame for the misdeeds committed only by a handful of devious medical leaders in the medical council and other doctors’ associations.
After PBT moved a PIL challenging the sinister and undemocratically formed Adhoc Committee, Calcutta High Court dissolved the Adhoc Committe and ordered that a new WBMC must be formed within six months through a fair election in accordance to the law. This is how a new ad historic election is being held to form a new WBMC when most registered doctor may receive a ballot for the first time in their life. Smelling the danger of losing the election, Returning Officer of WBMC Election 2013, Mr. D.K. Ghosh, who still works under the Trinamool-dominated Adhoc Committee, has decided to hold this election without a secret ballot as a “serial no.” unique to each doctor-voter would be printed on each ballot. Hardly any doctor would dare to vote against the candidates backed by the ruling party for fear of retaliation knowing that their identity would easily be revealed through the “serial no.”. No fair and impartial election can be held without absolute guarantee for secrecy of ballots. PBT is going to move the High Court again today seeking to hold the WBMC election by a independent commission and to assure absolute secrecy of ballots in the upcoming election (see copy of the writ petition below)