Kochi: The Kerala High Court has recently held that withholding certificates of Postgraduate government quota medical students who have not completed their mandatory government service, cannot be considered wrong or against public policy.
A division bench comprising Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu and Chief Justice, Antony Dominic have reversed the single bench judgment given in June, last year, that said that withholding a certificate and forcing a candidate who has not undergone his/her mandatory training, to pay Rs. 20 lakh as compensation, could not be allowed.
According to the bench, the signed bond of the candidate could not be implemented by the state, as it was opposed to public policy and could not be enforced as per section 23 of the Contract Act, the single bench had held.
The court was in the above case considering three appeals made by postgraduates who had completed their study under the all India quota through NEET and declined to undergo mandatory service; questioning the detainment of certificates demanding payment of Rs20 lakh each.
Considering one of the three petitions a single bench held that detaining of certificates was against public policy; while another bench went the government’s way, upholding action.
The division bench, however, took the stand that public policy being highly subjective was both -‘ shifting and even changing’.
“Statutorily examined, the compulsion of the students’ fulfilling the bond-obligation does not seem to fall foul of any public policy,” its judgment stated.
According to the division bench, the state government, university or colleges had been given the liberty by the Centre to impose their own conditions for admission. It added, that though students executed bonds, they never stood challenged by them.
Subsidized education presented as an argument by the state government to seek compensation found favour with the division bench. “The State compels the student to serve one year in the State where she had honed her medical skills and acquired a higher qualification. After all the State invests and subsidizes medical education. In the scenario of limited resources, spending somewhere amounts to not spending somewhere else. So those who get benefited must repay their debt – of gratitude,” the judgment elucidated, reports TOI.