July 01, 2021
The West Bengal Medical Council is run as per the Bengal Medical Act, 1914 (As amended by West Bengal Act XVI of 1954).
An election of WBMC in 2018, marked with scrupulous intentions which are still fresh in our minds due to numerous irregularities with mischievous intentions, had been rightly rightly stayed by the High Court through injunction given on 16.08.2018, vide W.P. No. 13684 (W) of 2018, filed on behalf of the Joint Platform of Doctors. The observations made by the Hon’ble Judge are of serious concerns, in nature.
The case is being constantly pursued by us through our team of lawyers and the injunction has been extended indefinitely or till such time that final judgment is delivered.
Using provisions of Bengal Medical Act, 1914 – which had already been challenged by West Bengal Doctors Forum in April 2018, via a W.P. and subsequently converted to PIL is pending hearing at the bench of Hon’ble Chief Justice, Kolkata High Court – the preceding committee continues to act in interim.
We, from Joint Platform of Doctors, WB, have mentioned to the court on several occasions pleading for early hearing of both the matters. However, there has been no further progress owing to Pandemic Situation, even though the case was listed for hearing. We continue our endeavor to appeal to the judiciary for settlement of our grievances and ensure free, fair, non partisan WBMC Elections afresh under direct supervision and control of the Court.
Quoting some experts from the observations which are damning in nature, apart from several other attempts of collecting blank ballots using names of influential persons and sending out SMS messages to the effect to voters, the Court observes:
“Prima facie, such practice, as adopted by the respondent no. 4, vitiates the entire election process. A Principal or an authorized representative of the Principal cannot come and collect the voting papers, which are required to be sent and served upon the concerned voters. It is surprising to note from the records that the Indian Medical Association, Malda Branch, issued a certificate with a request that all voting papers in favour of doctors should be handed over to the said Association so that the same can be delivered to the concerned doctors and the teachers. The steps taken by the respondent nos. 2 and 3 after issuance of the order dated 2nd August, 2018 do not in any manner cure the infirmities in the election process. The respondent no.4 has failed to act in strict consonance with the statutory provisions.
Accordingly, the said respondent nos. 2, 3 and 4 are restrained from proceeding any further with the West Bengal Medical Council election, 2018 pertaining to the categories of Section 4(1) (g) and Section 4(1)(h) of the said Act of 1914″
We have been informed of attempts being made by the section of people in high levels of Government and Administration to take shelter to some clauses of the Bengal Medical Act, 1914 and reappoint persons whohave proved themselves to be overtly partisan in nature time and again, through several vindictive, illegal acts of commission and omission in not so distant past, most of which were blatantly rejected by Respected Judiciary – High Court and Supreme Court. Several other doctors who lack appropriate resources have been victims of the high handedness of functionaries of WBMC which cost them dear – professionally, financially and most importantly psychologically.
While we appeal to each and every member of the medical fraternity to stand United and help us to ensure that justice prevails. Let partisans not rule over the Council and lives and careers of medical professionals and the public at large.
In the light of the above, the Joint Platform of Doctors strongly demand before the Govt to restrain from appointing Partisan Doctors as Chairman, WBMC. Instead, one veteran professional of academic excellence and unquestionable integrity may be chosen to act as interim Chairman till the case settles.
The doctors community at large will feel really happy if the government, out of its commitment to democratic norms and values for transparency, show the gesture before the Court to declare their decision for Fresh Fair Election at the earliest.
We positively think that Govt will not adopt any measure that can unprecedentedly break the moral spirit of the entire community.
If it fails, then we will have no other alternative but to resort to hit the street,the responsibility of which will lie blatantly on the administration .
We are continuing our efforts for legal remedies through all possible means, being slowed down by the Pandemic since early 2020, but our unflinching commitment to the cause remains rock solid.
Dr. Hiralal Konar
Dr. Punyabrata Gun
Joint Platform of Doctors, West Bengal
(WBDF, AHSD, SSU, DOFOD, HSA)