No quota for In-Service Candidates in Super Specialty PG Medical Courses: SC

On Friday, the Supreme Court directed the Directorate General of Health Services to proceed with counselling for admissions to PG super-speciality medical courses for the academic year 2020-2021 without providing a reservation for in-service candidates.

It was also clarified that this decision was only applicable to admissions for the current academic year, i.e. 2020-2021. The reason given was as the admission process was in its final stages, reservations cannot be permitted this year for in-service doctors.

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This interim order was passed in an SLP and writ petitions that were challenging the directions given by the High Court of Kerala and Tamil Nadu Government where they had provided a quota to in-service doctors to super speciality medical courses.

The Bench made it clear that they were not expressing any opinion on the validity of GOMS of 07/11/2020 and directed that the counselling for the courses should proceed as planned for 2020-2021 academic year.

Genesis of Case:

On 07.10.2020, the Kerala High Court had directed that forty per cent in-service quota under Kerala Medical Officers Postgraduate and Service Quota Act, 2008 will be provided for super speciality PG Medical seats for the current academic year.

Hon’ble High Court placed reliance on the Apex COurt’s decision in Tamil Nadu Medical Officers Association vs UOI where the power of states to provide in-service quota in medical seats was upheld.

On the very same date, the government of Tamil Nadu had passed an order to grant 50 per cent reservations to doctors who were serving in Tamil Nadu to super speciality medical courses.

The doctors who were not in service challenged the order in the Supreme Court.

Mentioned below are the legal propositions that were raised before the Supreme Court:

  • Whether K Doraiswamy & Ors vs State of Tamil Nadu judgment covers the issue of reservation for in-service doctors.
  • Whether the ratio laid down in K Doraiswamy was approved by the constitution bench.
  • Whether Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations 2000 have the power to make reservations.
  • Whether Regulation 9 of MCA regulations affects the authority of the State to provide a separate entrance to in-service candidates to speciality medical courses.
  • Whether in-service quota treated the same as communal reservations and whether the judgement in Dr Preeti Srivastav vs the State of Maharashtra dealt with the issue of in-service quota.
  • Whether the ratio decidendi can be gauged after reading the whole judgement or just the conclusion and if the judgment can be read as a statute as well.

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