RTI Judgement Series: Unqualified doctors employed in public hospitals
Moneylife Digital Team 03 June 2013

The CIC asked the principal secretary of Delhi's Health and Family Welfare department to specify if the department takes any action against unqualified doctors employed in public hospitals. This is the 105th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the principal secretary of the Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) department at the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), to fix the responsibility for not revealing the orders of First Appellate Authority (FAA). The CIC also asked the principal secretary to specify whether the department takes any reasonable action when complaints are made about unqualified doctors being employed in public hospitals.


While giving this judgement on 23 July 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “It is really scandalous that in spite of clear knowledge that some contract doctors may not be qualified form any recognized institution, the H&FW department appears to be colluding in continuing this. This can be a major hazard for public health.”


Delhi resident MK Jain, on 2 June 2008 sought information regarding action taken against certain doctors who did not possess required educational qualifications, from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the H&FW department. Here is the information he sought under the RTI (Right to Information) Act and the reply provided by the PIO...


1. Does a junior specialist working under the Govt of Delhi in various specialties require a degree/diploma recognized Medical Council of India? i.e. Medical Council of India recognition of a degree or diploma in various specialties is compulsory or not? 

PIO's reply:

(i). as per schedule 6 of CHS Rules for the appointment of specialist (non-teaching) the educational qualifications specify that the candidate for the post of specialist (non-teaching) must possess a recognized medical qualification, included in the first or second schedule or part II of the third schedule (other than licentiate qualifications) to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, holders of educational qualifications included in part II of the third schedule should also fulfil the conditions stipulated Medical Council Act, 1956.

(ii)  Post graduate degree/diploma in the concerned specialty mentioned in Section-A or Section -B in schedule-IV or equivalent.

(iii) Three years’ experience in the concerned specialty after obtaining the post-graduate degree or five years’ experience after obtaining the post-graduate diploma.

Accordingly this office advertises the posts of Jr Specialists recently which is a practice adopted by the department for these posts.


2. If yes, then what is the fate of a junior specialist working in different hospitals under the Govt of Delhi without a medical council of India recognized degree/diploma if any?

PIO's reply: There is no such case in the knowledge of department. However, any specific case may be brought to the notice of this department.


Not satisfied with the PIO's reply, Jain filed his first appeal. In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA), said, “...However, irrespective of the issue whether PIO and additional secretary (H&FW) had replied to the appellant in response to a fresh application under Section 6 of RTI Act or suo-moto, she may furnish the clear information sought by the application viz. what action has been taken against Dr Shipra Rampal and Dr Amit Sharma against whom MK Jain informed to the Superintendent of H&FW that they did not possess the required recognized degree/diploma and other similarly situated persons, if any”.


Jain then approached the Commission with his second appeal in which he stated that he made a series of correspondent to the PIO concerned, but the information sought by him was not provided. “The reply given (by the PIO) was incomplete and not up to the satisfaction vide their reply no2578 dated 23 June 2008,” he said.


During the hearing before the bench of Mr Gandhi, the deemed PIO stated, that he has not complied with the direction of Rakesh Behari, the FAA and principal secretary of H&FW. The PIO and the deemed PIO both claimed that they were unaware of the order of the FAA and they discovered this order a day before the hearing.


The deemed PIO further stated that he had find out that no action has been taken in spite of very serious charge levied by Jain and the department was still enquiring whether the charges were correct are not.


The department has written to the secretary, Medical Council of India on 1 October 2008, 20 December 2008 and number of times subsequently the last letter was sent on 19 May 2009, the PIO stated.


He also produced a letter dated 31 October 2008 before the Commission. The letter stated, “Kindly refer to your letter noF2(406)/ Estt./  BJRHM/ Estt./ 07/ 5377 dated 31 October 2008, on the subject noted above, I am directed to inform you that MD (Radio-Diagnosis) qualification granted by Bundelkhand University in respect of students being trained by MLB Medical College, Jhansi is not recognized by the Council.”


The deemed PIO stated that since August 2008 various notings have been made by various people such as special secretary of H&FW, superintendent of H&FW and joint secretary of H&FW.


Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that in spite of the categorical comment that the doctor working with the institution does not have a valid degree form a recognized institution, the authorities are claimed again of setting a continuous enquiry and not taking any action.


“...the claim of the PIO and deemed PIO that the order of the Principal Secretary was never revealed to them indicates the working of the department has been completely unstructured. It is indeed a very dangerous situation that the department does not have any system to ensure that order are known to various officers and in-spite of clear evidence that unqualified doctors are being let loss on citizens they appear to be colluding in this,” the CIC said.


While allowing the appeal, he then gave the copy of the file notings on this matter brought by deemed PIO to Jain.


The Commission directed the PIO to send the information to the appellant before 30 July 2009 indicating if any action has been taken or no action has been taken and also send a copy of this to the Commission.


Mr Gandhi, the CIC, also directed JP Singh, the principal secretary of H&FW department to enquire into this matter and send a report to the Commission before 15 August 2009. “This report will specify who was responsible for the FAA’s order not being revealed to the PIO and deemed PIO and whether the department takes any reasonable action when complaints are made about unqualified doctors being employed in public hospitals,” the CIC said in its order.



Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001415/4238


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001415


Appellant                                        : MK Jain



Respondent                                    : Rashmi Krishnan

                                                            Public Information Officer,

                                                            Govt. of NCT of Delhi,

                                                            Health & Family Welfare Department,

                                                            9th Level, A-Wing, Delhi Secretariat,

                                                            IP Estate, New Delhi -110002

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