Grant Study Leave to Doctors wishing to pursue DNB course immediately: Delhi HC to Hospitals
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court recently directed two hospitals to grant their doctors, who after clearing NEET PG 2020 have been selected to pursue DNB courses in different hospitals, with study leave along with issue them with relieving orders without any further delay.
This comes after the High Court took note of the fact that the concerned hospitals had already issued NOCs to the doctors and had clarified that they didn't have any problem with the doctors pursuing the postgraduate courses.
"If the Appellants join the courses, it shall only inure to the advantage of the Hospitals as the Appellants would be acquiring higher education and qualifications. We see no reason why the concerned Hospitals should further delay the grant of study leave to the Appellants," further noted the court.
The High Court bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh orally also observed that the Doctors shouldn't be made to run pillar to post merely for obtaining NOCs and other permissions, reports Live Law.
The case concerned the appellants who were working as Medical Officers in different hospitals. They had appeared in the NEET-PG 2020 examination for sponsored DNB seats and were assured by the hospitals that they didn't have any objection for the doctors to appear in the NEET examination and in fact, the grant of study leave was also scheduled to be processed after getting selected in NEET PG 2020 examination. Later they were issued NOCs by their respective hospitals as well.
After being selected in NEET PG and being allotted sponsored DNB seats in different specialties at different hospitals, these doctors applied to their respective Departments for grant of study leave for a period of three years and also for issuance of a relieving order and submitted the requisite Bonds.
However, no action was taken by the concerned Hospitals, which constrained the Appellants to approach the High Court and file writ petitions before the Single Judge bench which had dismissed the petitions.
The main grievance of these doctors was that they had appeared for the NEET PG examination against the sponsored DNB seats, as the concerned hospitals had no objection to their undertaking the PG course and it was clearly evident from the issuance of 'No Objection Certificates'.
The counsel for the appellants vehemently argued that the Appellants were assured that if they clear the examination, they shall be granted study leave and would be relieved from the respective hospitals.
On the other hand, the counsels appearing for the concerned hospitals submitted that in normal course when the No Objection certificates are granted, study leave is granted to the Doctors to pursue the courses they desire to enrol in.
However, study leave was not granted to the Appellants herein on account of the Pandemic COVID-19, as the services of the Doctors were required at the Hospitals and on account of surge in the number of cases, Government could not spare the Doctors for pursuing the PG Courses.
They further submitted that the matter was reconsidered by the Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor and sanction / approval has now been accorded for grant of study leave to the Appellants.
After listening to the contentions, the High Court bench found merit in the contentions of the appellants that the respective hospitals had granted NOCs to the doctors and therefore, there was approval and sanction for taking admission in the PG course.
"In any case, the seats against which the Appellants have been admitted are sponsored seats and the Appellants could only have applied with the approval of the concerned Departments. Having secured admission in the PG Course, the Appellants are unable to join only because the concerned Hospitals have not so far taken action to grant study leave," noted the court.
Even though the Court agreed to the submission on the part of the hospitals that for a short period of time the doctors couldn't be relieved on account of COVID-19, "but we do not find any justification in the inaction of the Hospitals in granting study leave at this stage, when concededly the Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor has sanctioned the study leave,"
"The last date for admission is 30.09.2021 and if the Appellants are not granted study leave during the course of the day, they will be unable to join the PG Course. If the Appellants join the courses, it shall only inure to the advantage of the Hospitals as the Appellants would be acquiring higher education and qualifications. We see no reason why the concerned Hospitals should further delay the grant of study leave to the Appellants," the court further observed.
Live Law adds that the bench orally also observed the Doctors shouldn't be made to run from Pillar to post merely for obtaining NOCs and other permissions.
To read the court order, click on the link below.