KATHMANDU, Feb 12: In order to cover its own weaknesses, Tribhuvan University (TU) has accused the Supreme Court (SC) of forcing it to issue affiliation to Kathmandu National Medical College (KNMC) after the Medical Education Probe Commission (MEPC) recently recommended action against 43 officials of TU, Kathmandu University and Nepal Medical Council for the issuance of the affiliation.
Issuing a statement on Sunday, TU said that the probe commission cannot issue directions to take action against TU officials while the case is under judicial consideration. "Our attention has been seriously drawn towards the news and articles published in different media regarding the controversy of affiliation," the statement said.
The MEPC, which was formed last April to investigate controversies of medical education, submitted its report on February 4 to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, recommending taking action up to suspension against 43 officials including TU Vice-Chancellor Prof Tirtha Raj Khaniya, TU Rector Prof Sudha Tripathi and TU Registrar Dilli Ram Uprety. Prof Khaniya, Prof Tripathi and Uprety, who were appointed from the quota of Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Center and CPN-UML respectively, were recommended to face action after the probe panel found them involved in medical education irregularities including issuing affiliation to medical colleges.
The MEPC which is coordinated by Gauri Bahadur Karki, former chairman of the Special Court, includes as its members Dr Upendra Devkota and member-secretary Surya Prasad Gautam, joint-secretary of the Ministry of Education. Dr Devkota is in London these days receiving treatment after falling sick during his UK visit.
TU's statement further says the university was forced by then Prime Minister, Education Minister and education secretary frequently to issue affiliation to KNMC. "Earlier, the apex court directed us seven times to go ahead as per the law regarding affiliation on the basis of an order of SC on September 16, 2014. So, TU executive council decided on July 27, 2017, to issue the affiliation to KNMC."
Later, TU scrapped the affiliation on September 6, 2017, after the monitoring team found that the medical college lacked the required infrastructures and facilities. Again, the SC issued a stay order on October 25, 2017, to cancel the decision scrapping the affiliation to KNMC. "We just implemented the court order and another case is still sub judice at the court. In such a situation, the commission cannot issue directions regarding the matter," TU statement claimed.