The Karnataka High Court on Friday by way of interim relief has directed the state government not to insist the appellants before the court (281 PG Doctors) should join their respective places for purpose of carrying out compulsory Urban service in terms of section 4 of the Karnataka Compulsory Training Service By Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act 2012(KCS Act).
The bench however declined to stay the "Karnataka Compulsory Training Service By Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act 2012" which mandates such compulsory urban service for a period of one year.
OA division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice N S Sanjay Gowda said the arrangement is only till the next date of hearing, November 11. It noted
"In view of there being a delay of 176 days in filing the appeal by the appellants' and request made by the Additional Advocate General seeking to file objections to the applications that the interim arrangement is made. We permit the state to file objections on or before November 10."
The appellants have challenged the compulsory One year Urban service rule for Postgraduate Doctors who had taken admission through Management and NRI quota. The doctors are also challenging an order dated August 30, 2019, by which the court had upheld the constitutional validity of section 4 of the KCS Act. The appellants have claimed that they have no issue serving under the Disaster Management Act, dehors the KCS act.
The bench had on Thursday 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.
It said "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."
Advocate Akkamahadevi Hiremath, appearing for the appellants, argued that when they had taken admission in the private colleges, the Act was stayed by an order passed by the court. Moreover, the brochures issued by the private colleges also did not mention this rule of doing the compulsory service for students admitted under the management quota or NRI student's. She even mentioned 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.
The bench 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 the Hippocratic oath which doctors take and asked - "during this situation of 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".
Advocate N Khetty, appearing for the Medical Council of India, 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 includeIn-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 category of students.