Mumbai: The Bombay High Court, in a verdict passed recently, has granted interim relief to 44 MBBS doctors, who want to pursue Post-Graduate (PG) medical courses but, are struck with one-year compulsory service bond.
As mentioned in recent media accounts, the court has allowed the petitioner PG medical aspirants to appear for the counselling round of admissions to PG medical courses in the state, despite not serving their one-year internship bonds.
Via their petition, the medicos, Dr Digvijay Patil, Dr Dipali Patil and Dr Pratik Surushe had challenged the government’s “abrupt” change of bond rules in 2017 which affected their chances of pursuing a PG course in 2019-20.
- In 2008, the medical students had to discharge the one-year bond by serving the state government after the completion of the MBBS course and a one-year internship.
- From November 2011, medicos were allowed to appear for 2 attempts of PG entrance, before and after the internship. If they secured PG admission, they were allowed to serve the bond after the PG course. Those who did not get admission had to serve the bond or pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation.
- However, on October 12, 2017, the Government Resolution (GR) was issued which mandated every PG medical aspirant to undergo government service for 1 year immediately after completion of internship and only after that they would be eligible to appear for PG entrance. Those do not serve the bond have to pay Rs 10 lakh or they will not be selected for PG. The batch of students seeking admission to PG for 2018-19 was exempted from this rule, reports Mirror.
Relying on the aforementioned points, the petitioner medicos who had taken MBBS admission in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and completed internships till March 2019 contended that they were eligible to appear for PG entrance in January 2019.
They pointed out that they had given their first PG entrance in January 2018 and the second in January 2019. After clearing the entrance in the second attempt, they became eligible for PG admission for the academic year 2019-20, which was not granted exemption by the government.
In the petition, the medicos stated that when they were enrolled in MBBS courses in 2011, a more lenient GR of 2008 was in force. It allowed students to complete PG without undergoing rural service. Also, a notification of November 2011 allowed only two attempts to secure PG admission, failing which the bond condition would kick in.
The counsel acting on behalf of the petitioners argued that though the GR was issued in October 2017, the mandatory condition was relaxed for students seeking admission to postgraduate medical courses in 2018-19, and was made applicable from the academic year 2019-20.
The division bench of honourable Justices SC Dharmadhikari and MS Karnik accepted arguments and allowed the petitioners to participate in the admission process for the academic year 2019-20, reports HT.
TOI adds that the court has not stayed the two GRs. However, it has directed the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) not to insist on the modalities framed under the two GRs, so far as the petitioners are concerned.
“Now that the court has granted us relaxation, those of us who get admission in the 2019-20 PG batch will not have to serve the bond till the completion of the course,” one of the student petitioners informed Mirror.
It is estimated that there are several hundreds of students who may be affected by the 2017 GR.
The government sought time for its reply and the matter has been posted for further hearing on April 24.