Kolkata: Stating that the government is constantly refusing to give him back his documents, even after he had paid the mandated bond penalty, the doctor, who completed his MD from SSKM Hospital, has moved to the Calcutta high court with the dilemma.
At the time of the admission for a postgraduate course (MD or MS) in the state, the doctors have to sign a compulsory state service bond and submit all the certificates of their previous exams. The bond states that the doctors will only get their certificates from the West Bengal Health University after they complete the mandated 5 years service within the state. Alternatively, if the doctors need to get their certificates back before the completion of the stipulated period, they would have to pay Rs 20 lakh to the government as the penalty.
Following the norms, Dr Rahul Bansal signed the bond before joining the two-year MD course in 2015. Along with the bond, he had submitted the certificates of all previous exams.
According to Dr Bansal, even after paying the stipulated Rs 20 lakh bond money, the government has held on to his papers. The government is constantly refusing to release him from the compulsory state service. In addition, the government has not been able to appoint him yet to any hospital, he added.
Last year, after completing his post-graduation course, Dr Bansal contacted the university to get back his certificates as he intended to study further at a university in Maharashtra. “But the health university declined to accept the money,” the doctor told the court
It was further brought to the bench’s notice that the doctor had filed a writ petition on May 21 before Justice Shivkant Prasad of the high court, pleading for an order to the university to accept the money. To this, the honourable justice granted the prayer.
However, when the doctor went to submit the money via cheque, the university declined, further to which the doctor paid the whole Rs 20 lakh in cash. The university authorities accepted the money but once again, refused to hand back his documents. On the other hand, they moved the division bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Asha Arora challenging Justice Prasad’s order. The appeal hearing came up recently.
As per a report in The Telegraph, during the hearing, the lawyer representing the government justified the university’s action by submitting, “At present, the Bengal government has a shortage of more than 4,000 doctors. Many of the super-speciality hospitals and health-care units do not have enough qualified doctors. The situation has prompted the government to decide against allowing doctors to leave the state after completing their MD and MS courses from here.”
The state counsel further added that the government had to spend “a huge Rs 9.6 lakh” on training a postgraduate doctor.
On this, the senior judge on the division bench, Justice Dipankar Dutta asked, “Why is the government then holding on to the certificates even after getting Rs 20 lakh?…. Under what law has the state taken the decision (to hold on to the certificates)?”
The matter has been adjourned until the next hearing.