Reservation OR Incentive Marks for In-service candidates: Bombay HC seeks response from state
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court recently sought to know from the Maharashtra Government its opinion on allocating reservations for in-service government doctors, who are willing to pursue postgraduate (PG) medical courses. This comes while the High Court division bench comprising of Justice Nitin M Jamdar and Justice Amit Borkar was listening to a plea by a few doctors demanding...
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court recently sought to know from the Maharashtra Government its opinion on allocating reservations for in-service government doctors, who are willing to pursue postgraduate (PG) medical courses.
This comes while the High Court division bench comprising of Justice Nitin M Jamdar and Justice Amit Borkar was listening to a plea by a few doctors demanding in-service reservation in admission to PG medical courses.
However, taking note of the fact that there are several pleas pending before the HC regarding the shortage of skilled doctors in the tribal areas, the bench on Tuesday directed the State for filing an affidavit and mention its position regarding the matter, reports Indian Express.
"The Constitution Bench (of Supreme Court) has emphasised the right to health care and the obligation of the State to provide the same in tribal and difficult areas of the state….We also note that this court is seized of various PILs raising the issue of lack of health care in tribal areas of the state wherein various directives have been issued after noticing the shortage of skilled doctors in these areas of the state," observed the bench.
As per the latest media report by Indian Express, Advocate V M Thorat, the counsel appearing on the behalf of the petitioners stated that such seat allocation was existing before 2017, and on a meeting on September 30, 2021, it was decided to revive the same.
Demanding that this should be implemented, the petitioners pointed out that even though the in-service reservation was provided earlier, back in 2016 when the top court in the 'State of Uttar Pradesh v Dinesh Singh Chauhan' case had held that such reservation would be illegal, it was discontinued by the Maharashtra Government.
At this outset, the counsel for the petitioners also referred to the Supreme Court judgment in the case of 'Tamil Nadu Medical Officers Association v Union of India', wherein the top court had clarified that "there is no impediment to provide for in-service quota and asked the State Government to restore the same."
Submitting that since the issue concerning the in-service reservation has been pending before the High Court for more than a year and no decision has been taken about it yet, the counsel for the petitioners insisted that the plea should be decided at the earliest.
On the other hand, the counsel for the State, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni was quoted saying by Indian Express, "the process of admission for this academic year (2021-22) is substantially advanced, and it will not be practicable to alter the same and provide for in-service quota for this academic year."
The Government pleader further referred to a communication dated September 6, 2021, issued by the State Medical Education Department. In that communication it was opined that instead of in-service quota, candidates should be given incentive marks up to 30 per cent.
Arguing such opinion, the counsel for the petitioner doctors pointed out that the State Health Department was of different opinion that "in-service quota would be beneficial from the public health perspective".
"The incentive marks, which are now projected by the state medical education department as a substitute for the in-service quota, were already present and are not a new factor," further argued the doctors' counsel as he pointed out that there was a difference of opinions of the two departments of the State.
Even though the bench had asked the Government to file its affidavit on February 1, the Government pleader had informed the bench that in a meeting chaired by the state chief secretary, it had been decided that there was a need for an appropriate policy with the approval from the cabinet. On this ground, he sought time and the bench accepted his plea and listed the matter for further hearing on February 8.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.