“we direct all government hospitals such as the AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, RML Hospital, and all other medical hospitals and institutions to be cautious while issuing such like fitness certificates”- Delhi High Court
New Delhi: All government hospitals in Delhi, including the premier ones like AIIMS and Safdarjung, should issue medical fitness certificates to armed forces recruits only after examining the medical standards required for the job, the Delhi High Court has said.
The court said the medical certificates should clearly state that the doctor issuing the document has examined the medical reports adverse to the candidate or patient and that he or she is aware of the requirements of medical standards for the post concerned
It said the doctor should clearly mention the reasons for not agreeing with the findings of the previous report issued by the medical board.
“The name and designation of the doctor issuing such certificate should also be clearly disclosed in the certificate. Only if such certificates are issued, they should be placed before the court and may be relied upon by the candidates to persuade this Court to examine the matter,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar said.
The court said this direction should be communicated to the Medical Superintendents of all government hospitals in Delhi for “strict compliance”.
The court was hearing a petition by a candidate who was interviewed to join the Military Academy and was declared unfit after medical check up by the medical board.
The man said he was advised by various ENT specialists that his medical condition was fully curable after which he underwent a surgery at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital.
He was again declared medically unfit by the appellate medical board and review medical board after which he got himself examined at AIIMS and RML Hospital.
The ENT specialists at both the hospitals declared him medically fit and fully cured of the medical condition which was found by the authorities, the plea said.
He made representation to the authorities for medical re-examination but did not receive any response and filed the petition in the court.
Central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul and Lt Col Kapil Pandya, also a doctor, explained to the court the man’s medical condition and said despite the surgery, if the petitioner is subjected to rigorous conditions such as in war zones, he may not be able to withstand the sound trauma generated by the firearms and ammunition.
The court said it was not inclined to interfere with the rejection of the man’s candidature on account of his medical unfitness.
The bench said that in such cases, the courts are faced with a dilemma, where there is a young candidate who is rearing to join one or the other forces to serve the nation and suddenly found to be medically unfit by the authorities.
The court said keeping in view the large number of cases in which the medically unfit candidates go to one or the other government hospitals and obtain medical reports of fitness, “we direct all government hospitals such as the AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, RML Hospital, and all other medical hospitals and institutions to be cautious while issuing such like fitness certificates”.
It said unless the candidate has brought to the notice of the examining doctor the medical reports and assessment conducted by the recruiting department, and placed before him those reports, such privately obtained medical reports cannot be relied upon.
The court said there are aspects which, obviously, are not present to the mind of the medical doctors who examined the man either at AIIMS, or at RML Hospital.
“Thus, in such like cases, medical certificates obtained by the candidates from otherwise reputed medical institutions have to be taken with a pinch of salt, since they are not aware of the context in which the medical examination of the person requires to be undertaken.
“The medical boards constituted by the Armed Forces to examine the candidates conduct medical examination keeping in view their own high standards and job requirements,” it said, adding that there is no whisper, much less an allegation of any bias against the candidate.
Such Medical Boards are conducted by qualified and competent doctors and, invariably, there are no allegations of mala fides in the making of their report.