1. This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution for the issue of a writ of certiorari to set aside the order of the Government of Madras in G.O.Ms. No. 3729 (Health Department) dated 20-10-1953.
2. The petitioner is a registered medical practitioner of more than 20 years standing. On 11-2-1953, the Registrar of the Madras Medical Council, constituted under the Madras Medical Registration Act, (Act IV of 1914) communicated to the petitioner, the charge framed by the Madras Medical Council, that on 5-8-1932 the petitioner had granted an antedated vaccination and Cholera inoculation certificate and he was therefore guilty of infamous conduct in a professional respect.
The Medical Council held an enquiry in accordance with the provisions of Act IV of 1914, held that the charge had been proved and directed that the petitioner be suspended for a period of one year. The petitioner appealed against that decision and punishment to the State Government under Section 18 of the Act. On 20-10-1953 the Government dismissed the appeal.
3. The jurisdiction of neither the Medical Council nor the Government has been questioned. Learned counsel for the petitioner attacked the validity of the order of the Government, rejecting the petitioner's appeal, on the following, grounds: (1) that no opportunity had been given to the petitioner to be heard in support of his appeal; (2) there had been discrimination in that another medical practitioner punished at the same time had been let off with a warning and (3) no reasons were given in the order passed by the Government on 20-10-1953, rejecting' the petitioner's appeal.
4. It was fairly a full representation that the petitioner submitted in writing in the memorandum of appeal he submitted to the Government when he availed himself of the provisions of Section 18 of the Act. It is no doubt true that the petitioner was not given notice of any hearing of appeal; nor was he given any opportunity -to represent his case in person or by pleader. But Section 18 of the Act does not by itself cast any statutory duty on the Government to give such notice to the appellant.
Learned counsel for the petitioner referred to Section 24, Clause (4) of the Act, where the Government have been empowered to frame rates to deal with institution, hearing and disposal of appeals under Section 18 also. No such rules have been framed. As I said--nowhere in the statute is there any statutory obligation upon the Government to follow any specified procedure in disposing of appeal preferred to it under Section 18 of the Act. Therefore the question is, was any principle of natural justice violated by the Government when it dismissed the appeal on 20-10-1953,
The petitioner was certainly allowed to make his representation, and the written representation in the memorandum of appeal he submitted to the Government was taken into consideration along with the evidence on record and the order of the Medical Council before the Government rejected the appeal. It cannot be said that the petitioner was given no opportunity at all to make any representation to the Government. That the petitioner was not given a further opportunity to make personal representations to supplement the written representations he made, may not be enough to prove that any principle or natural justice had been violated by the Government,
No doubt, the petitioner asked in the memorandum of appeal he submitted to the Government that the appeal should he disposed of on the basis of the representations made in the memorandum of appeal and also on the basis of the representations that he desired to make at the time of the hearing.
It was certainly within the discretion of the appellate tribunal, that is the Government, under Section 18 of the Act in the absence of any statutory provision or statutory rules, to decide the procedure it should adopt to dispose of the appeals, and whether a further opportunity should be given to the petitioner for a personal hearing in support of his appeal. That such an opportunity was not given does not, in my opinion, amount to a violation of any principle of natural justice.
It should be remembered the appellate jurisdiction, was invoked by the petitioner himself, and he had ample opportunities to represent his case in full in the memorandum of appeal he submitted; and it cannot be said that he did not avail himself or that opportunity.
5. The plea based upon discrimination has really no substance. It cannot be said that under identical conditions the Government passed different orders.
6. No doubt no reasons were given by the Government when it dismissed the appeal of the petitioner; but mere failure to give reasons, even though an appeal under Section 18 of the Act is a matter of great importance to a person situated like the petitioner, whose whole professional reputation is at stake, may not by itself suffice to invalidate the order. There is nothing wrong either in the assumption of jurisdiction or in the exercise thereof by the Govern ment. The writ petition fails and is dismissed. No order as to costs.