Gauhati: The Gauhati High Court recently directed the State Government authorities of Assam to expedite the process of setting up a medical college and hospital at Karimganj district.
“…we deem it feet to direct the respondent authorities to expedite the process of establishing the proposed medical college & hospital at Karimganj and complete same as early as possible,” the HC bench comprising of the Chief Justice and Justice Soumitra Saikia stated in the order.
The HC bench was considering a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Hafizur Rahman Choudhury. Filing the PIL, the petitioner prayed to the court to issue show cause notice to the State Government authorities and explain why the proposed medical college and hospital in Karimganj district has not been set up even after several years. Further, the petitioner urged the court to direct the authorities for constituting the medical college in karimganj at the earliest.
It was contended by the petitioner that even though the State Government was setting up medical colleges at various other places of Assam, the college in Karimganj district was still pending. The petitioner further submitted that he had approached the authorities after the HC had passed an order in this regard back on 23.11.2020. However, nothing has been done by the State authorities yet, claimed the petitioner.
Referring to the Medical Council of India, Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999, the petitioner contended that no progress had been made towards establishment of medical college in the District of Karimganj.
On the other hand, the Advocate General of Assam, Mr. D. Saikia submitted that as a matter of policy, the State Government had been setting up medical college and hospitals at various places across the State in a phased manner and as per the same policy, the State decided to set up a medical college and hospital in Karimganj district.
The State counsel also referred to the written communication dated 02.04.2022, received by him from the Joint Secretary to the Government of Assam, Health & Family Welfare Department and submitted that the Finance Minister had also made provisions in the budget for the financial year 2022-2023 for setting up a medical college at Karimganj, in Assam. He also submitted before the Court that the identification of land for setting up the medical college was under process. Therefore, the State counsel argued that considering the steps already taken by the State Government, the grievance ventilated by the petitioner in the PIL was almost redressed.
Taking note of the submissions made by both the parties, the HC bench observed, “…it clearly transpires that the State of Assam has taken a conscious decision to establish a medical college & hospital at Karimganj. As far as the time taken for the same is concerned, we hope and trust that the State Government shall expedite the process of establishing the proposed medical college & hospital at Karimganj. From the communication dated 02.04.2022 it appears that the State Government has already undertaken the process of identification of land for setting up the medical college & hospital at Karimganj. It is, no doubt, true that establishing medical college & hospital would come within the realm of State Government policy.”
Acknowledging the steps taken by the State in this regard, the Court directed the authorities to speed up the process and noted, “However, as the respondent authorities themselves have declared that the process of establishing a medical college & hospital at Karimganj is on, we deem it feet to direct the respondent authorities to expedite the process of establishing the proposed medical college & hospital at Karimganj and complete same as early as possible.”
To read the order, click on the link below: