Suprem Court upholds 20% quota for in-service doctors in PG courses | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Maharashtra government resolution providing 20% quota in PG courses in state-run medical colleges to MBBS doctors who have served at least two years in government and municipal corporation hospitals in rural, tribal and difficult areas.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli, in a detailed judgment, rejected the two pronged arguments from senior advocate Anand Grover, who appeared for certain PG aspirant candidates.
The arguments were – one, that the September 26 government resolution (GR) was issued after the admission process commenced amounting to changing the rules after the game has begun; and, second, 20% quota would result in reserving 282 PG seats for in-service doctors, which is disproportionately high given the fact that only 52 seats have been filled after first round of counselling.
The bench said the Bombay High Court on October 4 had dismissed the writ petitions of the appellants on the ground that there was no challenge to the validity of the GR. However, the SC bench said that apart from this ground, there was no substance in the ground taken – issuance of GR after commencement of admission process – as the admission brochure had specified that in-service quota would be implemented as per the government resolution.
Though the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government in April had announced a 25% quota for in-service doctors working in government and corporation hospitals, the necessary resolution was passed by the Shinde-BJP government on September 26, prescribing a 20% quota.
The SC noted that the PG quota for in-service doctors was discontinued following a three-judge bench decision of the SC in 2016, which was later overturned by a five-judge bench verdict in 2021. The 5-J bench had ruled that providing PG quota to in-service candidates did not violate Regulation 9 of the Medical Council of India Regulations.
Accepting Maharashtra counsel Siddharth Dharmadhikari, Justices Chandrachud and Kohli said that PG quota for in-service doctors was aimed at providing specialist healthcare to rural folks. “It is difficult to accept the argument of the appellants that GR of September 26 was not to be implemented for the current academic years.
On the claim that 20% reservation in PG seats was disproportionate, the bench said, “Of the total 1,416 PG seats available under the state quota, 282 seats were reserved for in-service doctors. As many as 268 candidates obtained no objection certificate for applying for in-service quota. As many as 69 were eligible for admission given their marks in NEET-PG in the first round but 52 took admission. Since the Union government has reduced the cutoff marks by 25 percentile points across the categories, it is likely that additional candidates would be eligible in subsequent counselling.”

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