Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 22
In a major embarrassment to the state government, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has cancelled the registration of the Punjab Medical Council (PMC) president, Dr Amar Satinder Singh Sekhon. The president is responsible for giving registration to all medical practitioners — more than 40,000 — in the state. His registration has been cancelled for allegedly furnishing false information to the MCI.
Soon after coming to power last year, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had nominated Patiala-based Dr Sekhon as the PMC president. It was one of the first appointments the CM had made.
Dr Sekhon’s name has been struck off the MCI’s register of doctors for three years, which means that he can neither practise as a doctor nor take up any medical teaching assignment during this period.
As per the documents available with The Tribune, the MCI has suspended Dr Sekhon’s registration for three years from February 13, 2017, to February 12, 2020. The case pertains to 2005, when Dr Sekhon was Principal of the Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Bathinda. He had allegedly furnished false information to an MCI inspection team. He had claimed that Dr Muktanjali Arya was a full-time teacher of microbiology at the institute. But she was working at a private hospital in Ludhiana.
The MCI acted on an inquiry conducted by its Ethics Committee. As per an order issued by Dr Praful Goel, Deputy Secretary, MCI, Dr AS Sekhon’s registration has been cancelled for three years. Besides him, Dr Muktanjali Arya, Dr GPI Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Adesh University, Bathinda, and Dr V Mohan have been given the same punishment.
In the same case, a warning has been issued to Dr NK Singh, Principal of Sri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical & Health Sciences, Dehradun.
When contacted, Dr Sekhon said he was not aware of any such decision. “I didn’t attend any MCI inspection and I had left the Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in 2006 and the Dr Muktanjali Arya case started in 2011,” he said. He said only communication from the MCI regarding the case was a letter he received in 2016. I had given reply to that. “If they have done so, it is unfair and I was not even given a chance to defend myself,” he said.
Interestingly, acting on the MCI’s order, last week Dr Sekhon had issued cancellation of registration of Vice-Chancellor of Adesh University Dr GPI Singh. But the same order also carried his name as well as other doctors.
Dr Sekhon served as a Captain in Army Medical Corps from 1968-73. From 1974 onwards he served in the Punjab Medical Education Department, held several important assignments such as Medical Superintendent, Government Rajindra Hospital, and Registrar, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.
Question over holding post
As per the provisions of the Act governing the Punjab Medical Council, only a registered practitioner can hold the post of president of the council. As per The Punjab Medical Registration Act, 1916, the president is nominated by the state government, which means the Chief Minister. As per the Act, the state government shall nominate a person to be the president of the council “from amongst the registered practitioners.” Since Dr Sekhon’s registration has been cancelled by the MCI, legally he can’t continue on the post. When contacted, Dr Sekhon said he would discuss the matter with the government and will “fight it out at appropriate platform.”
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