RTI Queries of 2016

We had sent questions to the Karnataka Medical Council regarding the status of registrations, and also sought the copies of all the supporting documents, under the provisions of the RTI Act on May 16, 2016. We have received the reply on June 24, 2016. As the replies are not satisfactory to us, and as we are aggrieved by this response, we have filed an appeal to KMC on June 29, 2016, as per Section 19 (1) of the RTI Act, 2005.

The responses, in brief, are:

  1. Our existing registrations are permanent and will remain permanent even if we do not renew.
  2. The reply states that the registration is permanent, provided it is renewed. As we have already paid life time renewal fees, our registration shall remain permanent.
  3. KMC has failed to provide any copies of gazette notifications, minutes of the meetings, resolutions, legal opinion etc., regarding the renewal process.
  4. The reply claims that no minutes were recorded during the meeting held on May 8, 2016.

Given below are the Question, the Reply and the Appeal under Section 19 (1):

Question 1: I have been issued a Permanent registration certificate in March 1988, and the certificate is clearly stamped with the words “the above Registration is PERMANENT”. Please provide information whether this certificate is valid or not and whether the registration is Permanent or not and also the legal basis for the same.

Answer: Your registration is permanent, needs renewal as per Section 19 of KMR Act

Appeal: You have asserted that my registration with the Karnataka Medical Council is permanent and needs renewal as per section 19 of KMR Act. It is not clear from your reply as to how a permanent registration needs renewal. Also, you have not provided the information about the legal basis for the permanent registration that I had asked. Perusal of Section 19 of the KMR Act does not mention anything about renewal of the permanent registration. I therefore urge you to clarify on the need to renew a permanent registration. I also urge you to provide me the copies of the documents that support your assertion that my registration is permanent and that such a permanent registration needs to be renewed.

Question 2: The documents on the web site of KMC suggest us to renew the registration for 5 years. Kindly provide information regarding the legal basis for such temporary 5 year registrations, renewal every 5 years thereafter, and for the requirement of 30 CME Credit hours for such renewals.

Answer: Legal basis for renewal is Section 19 of KMR Act and amendment to the same in the year 2003. 30 credit hours is stipulated based on the medical Council of India minutes of the national meet with the representative of the State Medical Council dated 2nd February 2012 and MCI circular dated 29-8-2013, Code of Medical Ethics Section 1.2.3 and amendment of KMR Act in the year, Section 19 subsection (2)

Appeal: I had asked to provide information regarding the legal basis for temporary 5 year registrations and renewal every 5 years thereafter and for the requirement of 30 CME Credit hours for such renewals. You have cited section 19 of KMR Act and amendment of 2003 as the legal basis for renewal. But the said section 19 of the KMR Act, amendment of 2003, does not have the words ‘5 years’. Therefore, please clarify the legal basis for renewal every 5 years. You have cited the minutes of the national meet dated Feb 2nd, 2012, MCI circular dated 29th Aug 2013, section 1.2.3 of code of medical ethics 2002 and amendment of KMR Act in 2003, section 19, subsection 2 as the basis for stipulation of 30 credit hours for renewal of registration. Perusal of Section 19 subsection 2 of KMR Act, amended in 2003 shows that it has no relationship with the CME credits. As the registrations of the medical practitioners of Karnataka are done solely on the basis of the Karnataka Medical Registration Act, the code of medical ethics, minutes of the national meet and MCI circular regarding CME Credits have no relationship to renewal of registrations. Therefore, your reply does not clarify the legal basis for renewal of registrations with Karnataka Medical Council every 5 years with 30 CME credit points, and instead is causing confusion and consternation in me. Therefore, I urge you to clarify this issue and provide the copies of the supporting documents.

Question 3: If no legal basis exists for such renewal, provide information on the status or validity of the new certificates or smart cards to be issued on such renewal.

Answer: There is legal basis of renewal as per KMR Act section 19

Appeal: As above

Question 4: Also provide information regarding the status of my permanent registration if I chose not to renew my registration.

Answer: Your permanent registration is valid, provided it is renewed as per KMR Act

Appeal: As above, for Q 1.

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Question 5: I have also come to understand that the KMC has sent a letter (No 5650, dated 14 Nov., 2015) to the minister of medical education along with a draft of amendments. I request you to provide the copies of this letter and the draft of amendments. I also request you to provide the copies of all the resolutions/minutes of the meetings of KMC regarding the renewal of registrations and CME Credits.

Answer: Letter sent to Government involves official secrecy which cannot be revoked. As per RTI Act -Section 8 Exemption from disclosure of information

Appeal: I had asked for copies of the letter No 5650, dated 14 Nov., 2015, and the draft of amendments. I had also requested you to provide the copies of all the resolutions/minutes of the meetings of KMC regarding the renewal of registrations and CME Credits. You have not provided the copies of any of these documents, and have cited the official secrecy and exemption under section 8 of the RTI Act 2005. Perusal of the Section 8 of the RTI Act 2005 makes it very clear that none of these documents come under the purview of the said section 8.1.a-j of the RTI Act 2005. Therefore, I urge you to provide me the copies of letter No 5650, dated 14 Nov., 2015, and the draft of amendments, as well as copies of all the resolutions/minutes of the meetings of KMC regarding the renewal of registrations and CME Credits.

Question 6: During the discussions that were held between the representatives of various professional organisations and the President and members of KMC at IMA House and later at KMC Vaidya Bhavana, Miller Tank Be Area, on May 8, 2016, it was repeatedly asserted on behalf of KMC that legal opinion has been obtained by KMC regarding the issue of renewal of registration. Please provide the copies of all such legal opinions obtained by KMC with regard to the status of existing permanent registrations, renewal of registrations and CME credits.

Answer: Legal opinion is incorporated in the Public notice given

Appeal: I do not know what is meant by a Public Notice that you have cited in your reply to my request for the copy of the legal opinion said to have been obtained by KMC regarding the issue of renewal of registration. I must be provided with the copy of all the legal opinion/s obtained by the Karnataka Medical Council with regard to the status of existing permanent registrations, renewal of registrations and CME credits, as provided on the letter heads of the advocates, with signatures and seals.

Question 7: I also request you to provide the copy of the minutes of the meeting held at KMC Vaidya Bhavana on May 8, 2016 at 4pm, that was attended by myself, President and other members of KMC, and office bearers of medical associations such as API, PHANA, IAP etc.

Answer: No such minutes were entered in the book, only signatures of participant were taken. This was informal meeting to ascertain the views of office bearers of different Organization

Appeal: To my request to provide the copy of the minutes of the meeting held at KMC Vaidya Bhavana on May 8, 2016 at 4pm, you have replied that no such minutes were entered as it was informal meeting to ascertain views. I am aggrieved by this reply. I urge you to provide me the copy of the invitations that were sent to the office bearers of the various associations like API, PHANA, IAP, ASI, FOGSI etc., to attend this meeting, and also the copy of the sheet/s on which the signatures of the attendees was collected.