The Madras High Court has pulled up medical colleges in the state which continue to function without remedying deficiencies in infrastructure..In a recent judgement rendered by Justices SM Subramanian and Nooty Ramamohana Rao (retd.), the Court had directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to recover high compensatory fines in such cases, in proportion to the number of students who have had to complete their medical education in such lacking environments..The matter arose in the form of an appeal preferred by the MCI. The writ petitioners were students who had pursued Post-Graduate degrees in medicine from ESI Corporation Medical College and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research..Following the completion of their course, these students had been denied provisional registration on the State Medical Register. Registration is necessary to secure employment in Government Medical Services and for pursuing further super-specialisation. The Tamil Nadu Medical Council had denied registration on the ground that their colleges had not rectified several deficiencies noted by the MCI..The Court noted that the MCI had considerable powers under the MCI Act to grant letters of permission (LoP) to commence medical education establishments, set standards and maintain the same through declaratory and regulatory provisions under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956..However, the same does not extend to denying provisional recognition where the student comes from a university for which an LoP has already been granted, as was in the present case..“When once the Letter of Permission (LoP) has been accorded to a medical college by the MCI for starting a new course of Post Graduate education… thereafter it can only make available the inspection report submitted…either for grant or withdrawal of recognition of the qualifications by the Central Government…On its own, the MCI cannot either grant or withhold the recognition of any medical qualification..… If there are still deficiencies, both instructional and infrastructural, remained unrectified by the medical college concerned, the MCI cannot prevent the provisional registration of the qualifications acquired by the students.”.For this reason, the Court ruled the case in favour of the prospective doctors..The Court also went on to pass significant orders directing the MCI to fine colleges found neglecting to take any action to rectify issues of inadequate infrastructural facilities. The Bench recorded disapproval for the slow and soft tone adopted by the MCI in bringing such institutions to account and the plight of students subjected to its humiliating consequences..Noting that sufficient powers are available under Sections 17 and 18 of the MCI Act, the Court directed that the MCI collect compensatory costs of Rs. 1 lakh for every UG student, and Rs. 2 lakhs for every PG student who has been allowed to complete the course without remedying and rectifying the defects pointed out..A small proportion of the money so collected was directed to be used strictly for upgrading the infrastructure in medical colleges, whereas the rest of the amount is to be disbursed to the concerned students..Read copy of judgement below.