The Supreme Court on December 2, Friday permitted the Tamil Nadu government to allocate 50 per cent of super-speciality seats in government medical colleges to NEET-qualified in-service candidates for the current academic year. A bench of Justices B R Gavai and Vikram Nath directed the state government to fill the seats as per the Tamil Nadu government order dated November 7, 2020, within a period of 15 days. The state government had vehemently defended the government order (GO) of 2020 on the Super Specialty seats.
"The state of Tamil Nadu has approached this court for clarification of an order dated March 16, 2022, that the said order is also applicable to all subsequent academic years till disposal of petitions. We have heard the counsels. The ASG submitted that last year a number of seats reserved for in-service candidates could not be filled up. She submitted that super speciality courses are valuable national assets and they cannot be permitted to go to waste... We appreciate the anxiety of the ASG that the issue requires to be decided finally. However, for the present academic year, we find the state needs to be permitted to fill the seats based on GO," the bench said.
The top court also directed that on the 16th day, the state of Tamil Nadu will inform the Union of India with regard to all the seats which remain unfulfilled from in-service candidates. In-service PG aspirants must give a bond that they will serve the state after completion of their course in a government medical college till their superannuation.
The vacant seats will be permitted to be filled in by the Union of India on the basis of All India merit list, the apex court said while posting the matter for detailed hearing on February 14, 2023.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati submitted that since 2016 there has been no reservation in super speciality courses. Additional Advocate General (AAG) Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for TN, told the apex court that the state government has filed an interim application seeking clarification.
On March 16, the top court had permitted it to continue with the counselling for 2021-22 to allocate 50 per cent super-specialty seats in government medical colleges to NEET-qualified in-service candidates.
The apex court had vacated its interim order of November 27, 2020, by which it had directed that the counselling for admission to super-specialty medical courses for the academic year 2020-2021 shall proceed without providing 50 per cent quota to in -service doctors.
The top court is seized of petitions against the GO of the state government.