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PG Medical Admissions : Madras HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging 'Grossly Disproportionate' Reservation For In-Service Doctors

Aaratrika Bhaumik
29 Oct 2021 4:33 PM GMT
PG Medical Admissions : Madras HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Grossly Disproportionate Reservation For In-Service Doctors
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The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notice in a petition challenging the extent of reservation granted to in-service doctors under the prospectus for admission to post-graduate degree or diploma courses in Tamil Nadu government medical colleges and government sets in self-financing medical colleges affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University for the 2021-22 session. The...

The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notice in a petition challenging the extent of reservation granted to in-service doctors under the prospectus for admission to post-graduate degree or diploma courses in Tamil Nadu government medical colleges and government sets in self-financing medical colleges affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University for the 2021-22 session.

The petition moved by twelve doctors challenging Clause 29 (c) of the October 6, 2021 prospectus which provide that 50 percent of seats in the State Government will be exclusively allotted to in-service candidates. Additionally, the provision also allows in-service candidates to apply in the remaining "open-category" in State government seats i.e. the 50 percent of the 50 percent government seats.

Furthermore, while applying for the aforementioned "open-category", in-service candidates can also avail of advantages accorded to them if they have served in remote or difficult or hilly areas as defined by a State-appointed committee.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh issued a notice in the matter on Wednesday and directed the government counsel to take written instructions and report back to the Court on the next date of hearing which is slated to take place on November 1.

The petitioners, represented by Advocate Suhrith Parthasarathy, contended that the extent of reservation stipulated under Clause 29 (c) dilutes any concept of merit in admissions and is also 'unjust, unfair, arbitrary and discriminatory and, ultra vires the Constitution of India.'

"In not exclusively ear-marking the selection for admission in the open category to non-service candidates and in granting weightage in the form of incentive marks to in-service candidates in the open category as well, the Respondent No. 1 to 3 have acted in an arbitrary, unreasonable, and disproportionate manner .... In permitting in-service candidates to apply in the 'open category' and further awarding incentive marks to those in-service candidates, the Respondents have taken away the very spirit and essence of an 'open category'," the plea averred.

Reliance was also placed by the petitioners on the Supreme Court judgment in State of TN v. T Dhilipkumar wherein the Apex Court had directed State to conduct a study and assess what the extent of reservation should be each year for in-service candidates and to reduce it to below 50 percent, if appropriate.

However, the petitioners pointed out that no such assessment was conducted by the State authorities till date. The State has continued to provide such reservation without determining on a yearly basis whether such reservation of 50 percent was in fact necessary to achieve the purported objective of the measure, the petitioners alleged.

"To the Petitioners' best knowledge, it is submitted that the State of Tamil Nadu is the only State in the country to have such an arbitrary policy of reserving 50% seats for in-service candidates and of further awarding those in-service candidates who apply in the 'open category' incentive marks, without so much as assigning any reason to justify the introduction of such a policy", it was contended further.

It was further submitted that although the power of state governments to grant reservations to in-service doctors has been confirmed by the Supreme Court in Tamil Nadu Medical Officers Association v. Union of India, such power has not been exercised by the State in a 'just, fair, and reasonable manner'.

"The allocation of the said 50% is also grossly disproportionate and in violation of well settled principles of constitutional law", the plea highlighted.

The petitioners further pointed out that as per the present Prospectus, "the Open category, will be open to both service and non-service candidates and that seats will be filled up based on the marks already defined or such criteria to be defined by the 1st Respondent from time to time as per the decision of the Committee headed by Hon'ble Thiru. A. Selvam, High Court Judge (Retd.)."

However, it was asserted that the category-wise list published in 2019 by the State government following the constitution of this Committee is also defective.

"It fails to consider a host of factors such as social and economic conditions, geographical location, accessibility and similar other relevant considerations, and accordingly, several PHCs and Government Hospitals listed under the category of Difficult Areas in Hills, Difficult Areas in Plains, Remote Area and Rural Areas in Annexures I to IV of the GO have been wrongly included," the petitioners submitted further.

Accordingly, the Court was urged to quash clause 29 (c) of the Prospectus under challenge.

Case Title: Dr. Parkaviyan R. and Ors v. State of Tamil Nadu

Click Here To Read/Download Order 




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