Calcutta: The Calcutta High Court has directed the release of original educational documents of two postgraduate medical students, whose papers were allegedly withheld by the West Bengal government’s Health Department. This came in light of the fact that the health department increased the bond penalty since the time these doctors had joined their MD/MS course
The petitioners, who moved two different bench of the high court, alleged that despite agreeing to pay the requisite bond amount of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 20 lakh respectively, they were denied of their original documents.
Petitioner Debashish Bhattacharya, who studied MD pathology at the Bankura Sammilani Medical College, moved the court claiming that the Health Department was not releasing his original documents which he needed for pursuing higher studies. The doctor had signed the bond in 2015, committing himself to at least a year of government service reports the Telegraph. In 2016, the state government increased the period of service to three years for doctors with an MD or MS degree. The exit penalty was raised to Rs 30 lakh.
A division bench, comprising Chief Justice J Bhattacharya and Justice A Banerjee, directed that the state health secretary must ensure the release of all original documents upon payment of Rs 10 lakh as per the bond agreement of July 31, 2013.
The court directed the principal of the college to produce the documents before the court, which would then be handed over to the petitioner.
In another petition, Assam resident Anurag Saha moved the court of Justice Arindam Sinha, seeking the release of his documents related to his educational qualifications.
His counsel Kallol Bose, who also represented Debasish Bhattacharya in the other bench, submitted that he has been invited to join a hospital as a child specialist on July 19, but the state Health Department was refusing to hand over his documents.
This was despite his agreeing to pay the bond amount of Rs 20 lakh as per agreement of June 10, 2014.
Justice Arindam Sinha directed the Health department to release and hand over Saha’s papers, who was attached to the B C Roy Child Hospital here, by July 18 on payment of the amount.
The state Health department had in 2013 introduced a bond for post graduate students in its medical colleges making one year rural health service mandatory for them, which they could opt out upon payment of Rs 10 lakh.
In 2014, the Health department increased the time period for compulsory rural health service from one year to three years.
The government order had said that the medical students are to pay Rs 30 lakh, with a break up of Rs 10 lakh per year, if they choose to opt out of the three-year compulsory service in the rural hospitals in the state.