No in-service quota in super speciality courses: SC

No quota for in-service doctors in super speciality courses in 2020-21: SC

The top court maintained that its direction would be operative only for the current academic year

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The Supreme Court on Friday declared that there can't be any reservations for in-service doctors for admission to super speciality courses for the academic year of 2020-21.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi said as the admission process was at the final stages, they cannot permit reservation for in-service doctors for this year.

"We direct that the counselling for admission to super speciality medical courses for the academic year 2020- 2021 shall proceed without providing for reservations to in-service doctors for the academic year 2020-2021," the bench said.

Maintaining that its direction would be operative only for the current academic year, the court put the matter related to decisions taken by the Kerala and Tamil Nadu government for providing quota to in-service doctors for further consideration in February next year.

The matter before the top court pertained to challenges made by Dr Prerit Sharma and others to the validity of the Tamil Nadu government's November 07, 2020 decision to reserve 50% of the super speciality seats in government medical colleges in the state for in-service candidates.

Similarly, questions were raised against the Kerala High Court's direction to implement Kerala medical officers' admission to postgraduate courses under the Service Quota Act, 2008 which provided for 40% reservation to in-service doctors in the super speciality medical courses.

The Tamil Nadu government sought to implement its decision saying 70% of doctors trained in the state did not serve there, though a huge amount was expended. It also said in-service doctors would work there till retirement. But the Kerala government expressed its inability to comply with its 2008 law.

The Union government cited several previous judgments of the top court to contend there can be no reservation in super specialty courses.

The National Medical Commission, for its part, said it was impossible to provide reservation for in-service doctors for this year as the admission process was at an advanced stage.

The court also noted that the information bulletin for NEET-SS 2020 was issued on August 3, 2020. The examination was held on September 15 and results were declared on September 25, 2020.

"It was made clear in the bulletin that there shall be no reservations of seats for super specialty DM/MCH Courses. The Medical Counselling Committee issued the scheme for 100% all-India quota for NEET super specialty DM/MCH DMB 2020-2021 in which it was made clear that there shall be no reservation," the court said.