MBBS graduates Challenge Compulsory Rural Service: Karnataka HC issues Notice to Govt
Bengaluru: A single bench of Karnataka High Court has recently issued notice to the Government and concerned authorities in a batch of petitions challenging the Compulsory Rural Service.
The petitions have challenged the State Government's June 8 notification which asked the 2021 MBBS graduates securing Government seats to register online for the Compulsory Rural Service under provisions of the Karnataka Compulsory Service to Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act 2012 (Compulsory Act).
Issuing notice to the State, the single bench of Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum listed the matter for further hearing on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Court has accepted the suggestion made by the counsel for National Medical Commission (NMC) to place on record the previous orders of the High Court on this matter for better understanding of the subject.
Live Law reports that during the proceedings of the case, the counsel for the petitioners contended that although the validity of the said Act came to be upheld by the High Court, the HC had also declared that the rules would be applied prospectively and not retrospectively to students securing admission after 24.07.2015.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the High Court had earlier upheld the constitutional validity of Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act, 2012 and Rules of 2015, which made it mandatory for students who had completed medical courses to perform compulsory service before getting awards or degrees and diplomas.
Further, in a recent judgment, while giving relief to the post-graduation medical students, who took admission in 2017-18 and 2016-17, from "Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act, 2012", the HC denied the submissions by the petitioners regarding the validity of the Act in question.
Upholding the validity of the Act and the Rules, the Court opined,
"The provisions of the Act and the Rules are prospective in nature and therefore, they do not apply to the students who had already been admitted to the respective Medical courses before 24.07.2015, the date on which the Karnataka Act No.26 of 2015 came into force."
The counsel for the petitioners further submitted yesterday that in 2019, the National Medical Commission Act came into force resulting in a paradigm shift in medical education. Gradually the State Governments lost their rights in regulating medical college admissions.
Pointing towards this change, the counsel for the petitioners submitted that the recent notification by the Government stemmed out of the compulsory act, which is non-est law in light of the NMC Act.
The counsel for another petitioner, Senior Advocate K G Raghvan was quoted saying by Live Law, "Having regard to the content of the National Medical Commission Act the provisions of 2012 act (Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act, 2012 and Rules of 2015) is repugnant to the 2019 Act. If the 2012 Act is inoperative then the notification dated June 8, also goes."
"Before the 2019 Act, medical education had become fragmented, each state was doing whatever it wanted. The medical council was afflicted by political interference. What suffered was medical education and infrastructure, it is to take care, this national law is made by the Parliament to ensure there is uniformity in all states," he added.
The daily adds that during the hearing, Advocate N Ketty appearing for NMC informed the Court about the previous orders earlier passed by different benches of the High Court. In some of those orders, the validity of the said Act was upheld. In fact, earlier the Court granted relief to students till the 2017-2018 batch from doing compulsory service as they were unaware of the Compulsory service clause by their respective colleges.
The counsel for the NMC further requested the court to submit those earlier records to assist the court to gain a better understanding of the matter. Allowing his request, the HC bench posted the matter to be next heard on Thursday.