New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the petition seeking quashing of a Rajasthan High Court Order that gives 10% incentive marks per year to in service MBBS doctors on Thursday. The order provides this advantage of marks to in service doctors who have worked in remote areas for admissions in PG courses, after having appeared in NEET 2017.
When a petition was filed by Amit Bagra and other doctors who are not of the in service category for urgent hearing, a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said, “Let it be listed tomorrow for hearing.
Doctors outside the in service category have challenged the April 7 order of a division bench of the Rajasthan High Court, which allows the state government to continue with its policy decision to award incentive marks in NEET, 2017 to its doctors serving in hospitals and clinics in remote areas, reports the Outlook.
A High Court’s larger bench had vacated the stay granted by a single judge bench on the state government’s notification, on the same.
The appeal, filed through lawyer Sahir Hussain by the petitioners, alleged that the Rajasthan government decision to accord 10 per cent incentive marks to in-service MBBS doctors had been taken without defining the remote areas.
The petition filed by non service category of MBBS doctors who appeared for NEET 2017, contends that while the selection process for it had begun in September 2016, the government notification was issued on March 20, 2017.
The Medical Council of India regulation dated February 15, 2012, gave discretionary powers to the state government/competent authority to award incentive marks to the in-service candidates working in the notified remote areas.
This notification, however, was stayed by a single judge of the High Court on April 3, 2017.
In-service candidates however, challenged the order and the division bench on April 7, 2017 gave the state government a directive to grant the incentive marks.
“It is a well settled proposition of law that the criteria of selection cannot be changed once the process of selection has already commenced.
“Thus even if the state government, now proceeds with framing any guidelines/regulation/policy/law etc, with the object to notify and define remote and difficult area for all beneficial schemes of the state for such areas and not limited to the matter of admission in PG medical courses, the same shall be applied prospectively,” the plea filed in the apex court said.
The petition clarified that any changes at this stage cannot change the selection criteria under the garb of any future guidelines/regulations as may be propounded by the Supreme Court in its series of judgments.
“Thus the selection process for admission for year 2017 has to be governed by the old scheme, wherein there is no place for incentive marks,” it said.
The MCI Regulation in this regard leaves the giving of incentives to in service candidates to the discretion of the state
“For the benefit of incentive to be given to the in- service category students, it is relevant for the state to define and explain in discernible terms keeping the remoteness and difficulty of an area under consideration that what is remote or difficult area and which candidate belongs to remote area for the purpose,” it said.
The petition mentioned that defining of remote/difficult area would give medical officers the option to apply for such a posting in order to benefit from the incentive mark scheme attached to it. It is only after someone has consciously opted for working in a remote area, that any benefit of marks can be awarded the petition further stated.