NMC officials fail to reveal assets, PMO seeks action

Complaint on asset non-disclosure forwarded to health ministry

Published: 19th November 2023 08:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2023 08:54 AM   |  A+A-

National medical commission. (Photo | nmc.org.in)

National medical commission. (Photo | nmc.org.in)

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office has sought “appropriate action” on a complaint against non-disclosure of assets by National Medical Commission (NMC) members who, despite being at the helm for three years, have not yet posted their assets on the official website, thus violating the NMC Act 2019.

The PMO has also forwarded the complaint on non-disclosure of the assets by NMC members to the Union Health Ministry, according to an RTI.

The PMO responded to an RTI filed by Kerala-based ophthalmologist Dr KV Babu. Babu, who has been pursuing the issue for the past several months, said he has received a response from the government for the first time. “While the NMC is stone-walling the RTI applications regarding the disclosure of assets by NMC members, the Ministry of Health, which has a responsibility to intervene, has been evasive on the matter,” he said.

“The response from the PMO, which has taken action by registering the complaint and forwarding it to the ministry, is a step in the right direction,” Babu told this paper.

“I believe now the NMC has to disclose the assets of its members and upload the details on the website and comply with Section 6(6) of NMC Act 2019, which makes it mandatory for the members to reveal their assets,” he said.

Non-compliance with the NMC Act is professional misconduct. It means that in addition to their removal from the posts, their licence to practise can be suspended as all members are from the medical field and are bound by the land’s law.

Babu had filed the complaint to the PMO on October 16, urging the PMO to intervene and issue appropriate directions to the NMC, which monitors medical education in India, for its transparent functioning.

In his complaint, he said that he hadn’t received any response from the ministry and the NMC, and neither the NMC members have posted their assets on the official website, as is the norm. He received the response from the PMO on November 9.

In its response, the PMO said that his letter received on October 19 “has been forwarded online for action as appropriate through Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) to Department of Health and Family Welfare.”

“Redressing a grievance is under the purview of appropriate authority dealing with the subject specified. Therefore, the information sought relates to the authority concerned to which the complaint was forwarded.”

This newspaper was the first to highlight that the 31-member NMC members, including its chairman, have failed to disclose their assets on the website. This was despite repeated RTIs and appeals. Their term will be over by September 25, 2024.

The PMO has also forwarded the complaint on non-disclosure of the assets by NMC members to the Union Health Ministry, according to an RTI. The PMO responded to an RTI filed by Kerala-based ophthalmologist  Dr KV Babu.

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