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Outcome of SAITM proposals before 31 Dec, AG tells SC

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 14 November 2017 00:00

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that a ministerial committee has been set up by the President to ascertain the possibility of settlement of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) issue and the outcome of the proposal of the committee will be delivered on or before 31 December.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam, appearing for the Attorney General, pleaded for the matter to be mentioned in January next year.

The bench comprising Justices Eva Wanasundera, Priyantha Jayawardane and Nalin Perera fixed the matter for 21 November as fixed earlier.

The petition for Special Leave to Appeal was filed by the Sri Lanka Medical Council against the judgment of the Court of Appeal contesting its verdict to provisionally register SAITM degree-holders. The Supreme Court had on 29 September granted special leave to appeal.

The Court of Appeal on 31 January in its judgment ruled that the petitioner, an MBBS graduate student of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), had a legal right to provisionally register with the Medical Council since she had fulfilled the necessary requirements under the Medical Ordinance.

The petitioner SLMC cited SAITM MBBS graduate Dhilmi Kasunda Malshani Suriyarachchi, SAITM, Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella, the Ministry Secretary, University Grant Commission and Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne as respondents.

Gamini Marapana PC with Navin Marapana instructed by Ravindranath Dabare appeared for the intervenient petitioner GMOA. Manohara de Silva PC with Avinda Wijesundra appeared for the respondent-petitioner SLMC. Romesh de Silva PC with Sugath Caldera and Niran Anketell appeared for petitioner-respondent students Dhilmi Kasunda Malshani Suriyarachchi, Faisz Musthapha PC with Riad Amen and Faisza Markar, instructed by Gowry Shangary Thavarasha, appearing for SAITM. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam, with state counsel Nayomi Kahawita, appeared for the Higher Education Minister, University Grant Commission, Health Minister and Attorney General.

The Court of Appeal in its judgment granted further relief compelling the Medical Council to register the petitioner provisionally as a medical practitioner as well as preventing the Medical Council from refusing to register the petitioner provisionally as a medical practitioner.

The Court of Appeal allowed the writ petition filed by SAITM with cost.

 It had observed that under the Medical Ordinance, the Minister was empowered to declare by regulation that any provision of the said ordinance which enables the holder of that qualification to be registered shall cease to have effect in relation to such institution.

It also observed that that it was clear that under the said ordinance, the SLMC was empowered to appoint a committee and on its recommendation, the SLMC may submit its recommendation to the Minister.

However, the role played by the SLMC ends at that point and any steps with regard to the said recommendations of the SLMC will have to be taken by the Minister under the provisions of the said ordinance.

It is further observed that the SLMC without any legal basis exceeded the power conferred on it.



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