SC provides interim relief to in-service lady doctor, reserves one MS Obstetrics and Gynecology seat at GMC Bhopal
New Delhi: While considering the plea of a lady doctor who was denied in-service reservation benefit even after working in interior areas of the State for 11 years, the Supreme Court recently directed the MP Government to reserve a PG Medical (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) seat in GMC Bhopal as an interim measure.
The doctor had approached the top court bench comprising of Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant after the Madhya Pradesh High Court had dismissed her plea.
Issuing notice in the matter, the top court bench orally termed it to be a 'hard case' and directed, "Till the next date of listing one seat in MS Obstetrics and Gynecology in GMC, Bhopal shall be kept vacant to abide by the final directions of this Court."
Madhya Pradesh has a policy of awarding 30% incentive marks along with a separate 30% reservation for all the doctors who have served in the remote, interiror areas of the State for a period of minimum 3 years.
Dr. Rajni Shinde, who is an in-service candidate, submitted before the top court that she has served in the interior areas of Madhya Pradesh during the course of her posting as a Medical Officer for a period of more than 11 years and she also fulfilled all the requirements for the reserved seats for in-service candidates.
However, as per the plea by the doctor, she was despite all these facts, she was denied the benefit of reservation. The ground for not extending this benefit to the doctor was only the fact that the Counselling Authority did not receive in time the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the doctor's department.
Aggrieved, the lady doctor first approached the High Court and pleaded that the State Government gave more 'credence to externals than the essentials' while denying her the benefit of reservation on the sole ground that there was delay in forwarding of the NOC by her employer department.
After considering the plea, the Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissed the plea of the doctor as it held that the doctor had not registered after procuring NOC from her employer department even though it was a prerequisite condition. The HC bench opined that as the doctor didn't fulfil this pre-requisite condition she could not claim the incentivized benefits available to in-service doctors.
Challenging the HC order, the doctor approached the Supreme Court.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, the counsel for the lady doctor referred to the judgment of Charles K. Skaria & Ors. v. Dr. C. Mathew & Ors. and FCI v. Rimjhim and contended that the doctor's claim for substantive benefit could not be denied merely on the basis of technical requirement of NOC.
While considering the matter, the top court bench orally claimed it to be a "hard case" and also provided an interim reservation for the doctor in one seat.
This decision was taken by the bench after the counsel for the doctor pointed out that even though the High Court had passed interim orders in the matter, the State did not keep a seat vacant. In fact, the doctor's counsel also referred to the vacancy chart dated March 23, 2022, which indicated one vacant seat at GMC, Bhopal during the mop-up counselling.
Taking note of this, the bench ordered, "Till the next date of listing one seat in MS Obstetrics and Gynecology in GMC, Bhopal shall be kept vacant to abide by the final directions of this Court."
"Issue notice, returnable on 18 April 2022," further read the order.
To read the Supreme Court order, click on the link below.
Barsha completed her Master's in English 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.