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SLMC appeal challenging SAITM order fixed for tomorrow

SLMC appeal challenging SAITM order fixed for tomorrow

The Supreme Court today fixed the appeal filed by Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC)

challenging the judgment of Court of Appeal to register a student of South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe for support on June 1, provisionally as a medical practitioner in terms of section 29(2) of the Medical Ordinance.

When the appeal was taken up before three-judge-bench comprising Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice Anil Goonaratne and Justice Vijith Malalgoda, the matter was fixed for tomorrow and to be heard before a bench presided by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep.

Meanwhile, Justice Vijith Malalgoda declined to sit on the bench citing that he would not hear the case since he had given an order regarding this matter while he was functioning as the President of Court of Appeal, today.

Through this appeal petition, the SLMC sought an order to set aside the judgment dated January 31, 2017 by Court of Appeal.

The petitioner further sought an interim order to stay the operation of the judgment made in the writ application bearing No.CA Writ 187/2016 by Court of Appeal.

Delivering its judgment on the writ petition filed by a MBBS graduate of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Limited (SAITM) in Malabe, the Court of Appeal on January 31 held that SAITM is empowered to grant MBBS degrees and further held that the petitioner has legal rights to register at the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) as a medical practitioner in accordance with the Medical Ordinance.

Court of Appeal Justice Vijith Malalgoda (President) and Justice S. Thurairajah had observed that the petitioner, a MBBS graduate of SAITM has no obstacle to register at SLMC as a medical practitioner in terms of the section 29 (2) of the Medical Ordinance. The Court of Appeal observed that on or around August 30, 2011, the former Higher Education Minister recognised SAITM as a degree awarding institute in terms of section 25 (A) of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978.

The Court of Appeal further observed that the Higher Education Minister has not taken any steps to revoke the concerned decision in terms of the section 27 of the said Act.

“The SAITM is empowered to grant MBBS degree,” the Court observed.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal observed that the SLMC has no power to take over the functions of the Higher Education Minister and further observed that the SLMC had acted in violation of section 19 of the Medical Ordinance when making regulations relating to SAITM. The Court further held that the SLMC had acted in violation of the Medical Ordinance without having any power to do so.

President's Counsel Gamini Marapana appeared for the SLMC. President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva with Sugath Caldera appeared for the respondent. Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne appeared on behalf of the Attorney General.(Daily news)

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