Supreme Court dismisses petition against 'South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM)'

Date: 8th October 2012

Petition against Private Medical College dismissed

Source: by Roshan THUSHARA

SC verdict a great strength - Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake

Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake issuing a statement on the Supreme Court verdict which dismissed the Fundamental Rights petition filed against the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) said he was happy that the Malabe Private Medical College can now continue awarding degrees.

“A large number of universities which are hoping to come to Sri Lanka had focused attention on the fate of the Malabe Private Medical College. Hence, this is a great strength to us,” he said.

The minister said the government had no intention of doing away with free education. What they intended was to further expand free education. Also, institutions like SAITM affords free education through a certain percentage of student scholarships.

“Therefore, we are clearly in the process of further expanding free education in the country and the Supreme Court verdict paving the way for this is a great strength to us.”

The Fundamental Rights petition filed against the setting up of the Malabe Private Medical College was dismissed by the Supreme Court yesterday. The bench comprised Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice S.I. Imam and Justice P.A. Ratnayake.

The petitioners are Dr. S. Sankalpa Marasinghe, Dr. Upul M. Gunasekera and university lecturers Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri and K.R.A. Pradeep Perera. They claimed their fundamental rights were violated by the naming of the Malabe Private Medical College as a degree awarding institution.

Among the respondents cited are Sri Lanka Medical College, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (Private Ltd), its chairman Dr. Nevil Fernando, the Registrar and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The Supreme Court after considered preliminary objections by Presidents Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for the respondents that the gazette declaring the Malabe Medical College as a MBBS degree awarding institution was issued on August 30, 2011 and that when filing a fundamental rights petition it should be done within one month since the publication of the gazette. Counsel submitted that in terms of Section 126 (2) of the constitution, a FR petition should be filed within one month and that the instant petition was filed on September 11 after a lapse of one year and therefore time barred.

SC dismisses petition against private medical college

October 8, 2012, 10:46 pm

Source: by Chitra Weerarathne

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a petition filed against the issue of medical degrees by Malabe Private Medical College. A medical professional, a university lecturer and two others, had filed the petition in Court alleging that the quality of the medical graduates, trained at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (Private Medical College at Malabe), could be below the prescribed standard for practising medicine in Sri Lanka. They requested the Court to direct the respondent Minister of Higher Education and the University Grants Commission to restrain the medical school from granting sub-standard medical degrees.

Yesterday, when the fundamental rights violation application filed by Dr. Sajeewa S. Marasinghe and Dr. Upul M. Gunasekera was called before the Court, Counsel Faiz Mustapa PC and Romesh de Silva PC, who appeared for the respondents, took up a preliminary objection as regard to the maintainability of the application, as the petition had been filed out of time and moved Court that the application be dismissed.

They said that the degree awarding institute had bee gazetted on August 30, 2011 and the application was made on Sept. 11, 2012, well over one year, after the said gazette notification. In terms of Article 126(2) of the Constitution the petitioner should have come before the Court within one month.

The Supreme Court upheld the objection and dismissed the petition, without costs.

Romesh de Silva PC, appeared with Sugath Caldera and Riyard Ameen, instructed by G. G. Arulprgasam for the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, Pvt. Limited, a respondent in the petition.

Faiz Mustapha PC appeared with Faizar Markar instructed by Gawri Thavarasa, for the Chairman of the SAITM also made respondent.

Kanishka Vitharana appeared for the petitioner.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice P. A. Ratnayake and Justice S.I. Imam.