Compulsory Urban Service: Karnataka HC grants interim relief to 281 doctors, questions plea
Bengaluru: In an interim relief to 281 Post-Graduate Doctors (PG doctors), the Karnataka High court has directed the state government not to insist the medical practitioners join compulsory Urban service in terms of section 4 of the Karnataka Compulsory Training Service By Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act 2012(KCS Act).
However, the court while reprimanding, raised a preliminary objection to the maintainability of the appeal stated that what is so superior to the management quota that you cannot do service for one year in the state.
A division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice N S Sanjay Gowda clarified that the arrangement is only till the next date of hearing, November 11.
The bench also denied staying the "Karnataka Compulsory Training Service By Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act 2012" which mandates such compulsory urban service for a period of one year.
The direction came while examining a petition moved by the doctors challenging the compulsory one-year Urban service rule for Postgraduate Doctors who had taken admission through Management and NRI quota.
The petitioners had sought to quash Section 4 of the said Act and contended;
"In fact, their brochure made a mention of compulsory service by the government seat students for 3 years, which actually becomes a reassurance that no compulsory service was required from the Management students. Hence, they are liable to be made amenable to the impugned enactment and they have to be exempted from its purview", mentions the appeal.
The petitioners' advocate added that the students have paid lakhs and crores of rupees for their education and since they have not received any benefit from the state government the dictum of 'quid pro quo' would not be applicable in their case.
However, the bench raised a preliminary objection to the maintainability of the appeal holding that as per the Karnataka Compulsory Training Service By Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act 2012, a candidate includes all students belonging to all quota.
The bench noted, "What is so superior to the management quota that you cannot do service for one year in the state. The service you will do is not for gratis, they will pay you."
It further remarked;
"You have not come from heaven because you have paid higher fees. Most of the petitioners are from Bangalore. Paying higher fees does not exclude them from rendering services." It court reminded the petitioners of the Hippocratic oath which doctors take and asked - "during this situation of the covid-19 pandemic, people are dying on the road. What is so wrong if the state government asks the doctors to undergo one-year compulsory service".
Meanwhile, Advocate N Khetty, appearing for the Medical Council of India (MCI), submitted that such a law of compulsory service was introduced only in the state of Karnataka. He further informed that earlier the term candidate in the Act of 2015, could have meant to include-State everyone irrespective of the quota as it was for the purpose of training. However, with the act amended in the year 2017, when the training word collapsed the compulsory service cannot be extended to all categories of students, reports Live Law.