“Matter is more than what meets the eye,” the HC bench
Bengaluru: Startled after being informed that over 383 candidates, who availed the Seats for PG medical courses under the Government quota, have not furnished an undertaking regarding the compulsory service as per law; the Karnataka High Court has ordered the state government to investigate the violation.
This information surfaced during a hearing on the petition filed by some physicians who moved the court against the Notification issued by the Director of Medical Education whereby they are asked to “mandatorily attend Counselling” for the purpose of deploying their services to the Government.
During the course of the hearing session, the court was informed there have been 5,348 candidates who have availed the Government Medical Seats for PG Degree/Diploma during the period between 2008-09 and 2017-18. Of them, only 4,965 candidates alone have furnished the undertaking on stamped paper in terms of Rule 15 (5) of 2006 Rules.
During the period between 2008-09 and 2017-18, there are about 4,965 PG Degree/Diploma candidates, who’d furnished the undertaking to serve the Government. However, only small sum of Rs 11.89 crore is stated to have been recovered as a penalty, when prima facie it ought to have been a several hundred crore rupees.
Surprised by the furnished information, the court observed that state officials are alleged to have absolved several candidates from the obligation to serve after receiving a paltry sum of Rs 1 lakh as against the legally prescribed penalty of Rs 5 lakh & Rs 3 lakh, and post 2013 amendment, Rs 50 lakh & Rs 25 lakh as the case may be.
“Matter is more than what meets the eye,” the bench of honourable Justice Krishna S Dixit stated adding that this is a very serious matter warranting the attention of the State Government/the Comptroller & Auditor General of India/the Accountant General for the State.
Deeming the issue as serious, the HC bench in its conclusion directed the government to invoke the Bond Obligation furnished by all the candidates who have availed the Government seats under the aforesaid 2006 Rules, ab inceptio either by calling them for service and in default for paying the penalty as prescribed.
“… Government shall within a period of six months formulate a Comprehensive Scheme by laying down the guidelines for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of Rule 15 of 2006 Rules and for invoking the Undertaking given by the candidates in all the yesteryears and in future…
… Government shall forthwith constitute an inquiry/investigation for penalizing/prosecuting the culpable officials/persons responsible for not securing the Undertaking/Stamped Bond from the candidates who had availed the Government seats under 2006 Rules, and also those who are responsible for absolving the obligee candidates from the Undertaking/Bond by accepting amounts of penalty in sums less than what is prescribed under Rule 15…”