The Supreme Court has ordered that 50% reservation for in-service doctors (doctors in government service) in super-specialty courses shall not be implemented in the current academic year. The order came after petitions challenged the stance taken by Kerala High Court and Madras High Court on the matter. According to reports, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao passed the orders on Friday, in which it said that the reservation for doctors in government service for postgraduate super-specialty courses shall not be implemented in the current academic year (2020-21).
The court was hearing a petition that challenged the Madras HC’s order allowing the state government to reserve 50% seats in postgraduate medical courses for doctors in government service. The government of Tamil Nadu had passed a government order (GO) on November 7 providing 50% reservation in post-graduate and postgraduate super-specialty courses for doctors who are in government service. This reservation was scheduled to be implemented in academic years 2021-22 (for postgraduate courses) and in 2020-21 (for super-specialty courses).
The Union government had opposed this reservation being implemented in the current academic year and had argued in the apex court that passing a GO after the super-specialty admissions had commenced is like specifying the rules of a game after the game has started. The Medical Council of India (MCI) had also opposed the GO by the state government. The Supreme Court accepted the argument made by the MCI that the prospectus issued for super-specialty admissions did not have information about the reservation and hence it is not fair to the applicants.
The order passed on Friday is an interim order and detailed orders on this matter will be passed in January after further hearing, as per reports.
The Madras High Court had, on November 9, upheld the service quota in medical admissions by the government of Tamil Nadu. The state government had, reportedly, passed the GO because it needs more super-specialty doctors as it needs more professionals who can offer high-end surgeries free of cost to people who choose to get treated at government healthcare facilities.