Sudhir N. & Ors. Versus State of Kerala

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 297-298 of 2015

(Arising out of S.L.P. (C) Nos.13121-13122 of 2011)

Sudhir N. & Ors. …Appellants

Versus

State of Kerala & Ors. …Respondents

 

Forty percent of the seats available in the State of Kerala for post-graduate medical admission are reserved for in-service doctors serving in the Health Service Department, Medical College lecturers and doctors serving in the Employees State Insurance Department of the State. As per the practice prevalent before the enactment of the impugned legislation admissions against such reserved seats were made on the basis of seniority of in-service candidates in each category. Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations of Medical Council of India, 2000, however, made it mandatory for all candidates seeking admission to post-graduate medical courses to appear for a common entrance examination. The Regulations, inter-alia, provide that candidates who appears in the common entrance examination and secure 50% in the case of general category candidates and 40% in the case of SC/ST candidates alone shall be qualified for such admission. Consequently, even in service candidates had to appear and qualify in the common entrance examination. Representations appear to have been received by the Government from many quarters pointing out that in-service candidates who were working around the clock for the benefit of the public even in remote rural areas could hardly find time to update their knowledge and compete with the general merit candidates so as to score the required 50% marks in the common entrance examination and to qualify for admission to any postgraduate course. Considering these representations, the Government decided to bring a legislation to overcome the difficulties faced by in-service candidates in the matter of getting admission to post-graduate courses. The legislation envisaged a quota for medical officers in the service of the State Government on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed. More importantly, in terms of Section 3 of Act No.29 of 2008 selection of medical officers to the postgraduate courses under the service quota was to be made by a Selection Committee called the Post Graduate Course Medical Selection Committee constituted under Section 4 of the said Act. Section 5 of the Act empowered the Government to set apart seats not exceeding 40% of the total seats available in the State quota for any academic year for selection of medical officers under ‘service quota’ for admission to post-graduate medical courses in medical colleges of the State. Sub-section (2) of Section 5 provided that the academic qualifications for admission to the postgraduate courses shall be an MBBS degree with a minimum of 50% marks besides other qualifications that may be prescribed. Sub-section (4) of Section 5 required the Postgraduate Selection Committee to finalise the selection list directly based on the seniority of the in-service medical officers and following such other criteria as may be prescribed. Section 6 provided for grant of weightage for ‘rural area service’ or ‘difficult rural area service’ as the case may be, in the matter of selection of the candidates for admission….read more