CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has issued notice to the state government on a petition seeking quashing of a clause in a G.O. that allows authorities to retain original certificates of post-graduate medical students till completion of two years of compulsory government service or payment of a bond of Rs 20 lakh by them. Justice K Ravichandra Baabu, before whom the plea filed by one K Raj Santan of Chennai came up, issued notice to the state Health Secretary, Directorate of Medical Education and Dean of Stanley Medical College here for filing a counter and posted the matter for further hearing to next Friday.
The petitioner, a medical doctor, had completed his PG course (MD-General Medicine) at the Stanley Medical college during 2014-17 and he is a non-service candidate.
He obtained admission in post-graduate course in Tamil Nadu Post Graduate Medical Entrance examination.
According to the petitioner, at the time of admission to the PG course, the authorities obtained signature of all candidates on an agreement/bond wherein non-service candidates like him and similarly placed candidates, are required to give an assurance that they would serve the state government for a period not less than two years after completion of their PG course as per a government order (G.O.) dated February 29, 2016.
If they are unable to complete two years of service, candidates should pay a sum of Rs. 20 lakh, he submitted.
At the time of admission, all original certificates such as SSLC certificate/marksheet, higher secondary certificate/ marksheet, MBBS degree certificate, marksheets, medical registration certificate, CRRI training completion certificate, community certificate, conduct certificate, etc have to be submitted to the college, he said and added that he had done so.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that for the purpose of registration/enrollment of PG degree in Indian Medical Council, original certificates submitted to the Dean, Stanley Medical College Hospital, at the time of admission, were required.
The counsel said the certificates and MCI registration were also required for pursuing higher studies either in India or abroad.
When the petitioner approached the authorities for return of the original certificates, along with some students who had completed their PG course, the counsel claimed the authorities refused to return them unless his client complied with the condition of serving the government for two years or paying a sum of Rs. 20 lakh.
The counsel said conditions like completing two years of service or paying Rs. 20 lakh was illegal and contrary to the fundamental right of candidates, who wished to pursue higher studies and also obtain statutory registration of their PG degree in the Indian medical register, etc.
Hence, the impugned G.O. is liable to be struck down in so far as the same empowered the respondents to retain the original certificates of the PG students, the petitioner submitted.
He also sought quashing of the G.O. empowering authorities to retain certificates till completion of two years of government service and sought for an interim direction to return them to the petitioner.