Medical Education; State of U.P. Vs. Dr. Dinesh Singh Chauhan [Supreme Court of India, 16-08-2016]

Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 – Regulation 9(2) – Provision for determining inter-se merit of the candidates including by giving weightage of marks as incentive to eligible in-service candidates who have worked in notified remote or difficult areas in the State, which is just, reasonable and necessary in larger public interest.

In-service Candidates


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

(T.S. Thakur, CJI) (A.M.Khanwilkar, J.) (Dr.D.Y.Chandrachud, J.)

August 16, 2016

CIVIL APPEAL NO.8047 / 2016

(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No.13832/2016)

State of U.P. & Ors. ……..Appellants

Versus

Dr. Dinesh Singh Chauhan …….Respondent

WITH

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 8048, 8049-51, 8052 and 8053/2016 (Arising out of SLP (Civil) Nos.13872/2016, 15154-15156/2016, 15529/2016, 14427/2016 and W.P. (Civil) No. 372/2016)

J U D G M E N T

KHANWILKAR, J.

Leave granted.

2. We have three sets of matters before us. The first is appeals arising from the common judgment of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad dated 7th April, 2016 in Writ Petition Nos: 1380, 34118 and 35051 all of 2015. The second is an appeal arising from the decision of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench dated 27th May, 2016 in Writ Petition No: 12004 of 2016. The third is a Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India praying for a declaration that the third Proviso to Regulation 9(2) of the

Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000

(hereinafter referred to as ‘the said Regulation’), is unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution; and for a direction against the Authorities to refrain from disturbing the selection of the said writ petitioners or to interfere with their Post Graduate studies which they are presently pursuing. The latter two proceedings are the fall out of the interim order passed by this Court dated 12th May, 2016.

3. The first set of appeals (arising from SLP (C) Nos: 13832, 13872, 14427 and 15154-56 all of 2016), are directed against the common judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court dated 7th April, 2016 disposing the aforesaid three Writ Petitions preferred by the in-service Medical Officers in the State of Uttar Pradesh, challenging the Government Orders dated 28th February, 2014 and 17th April, 2014 – so far as it imposed a condition of working of three years in rural or difficult areas as ultra-vires and hit by Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India. It was also prayed that No Objection Certificate be issued in favour of the petitioners for admission in MD/MS/Diploma in UPPGMEE-2015 and for quashing of the declaration of result dated 2nd June, 2015.

4. The said writ petitioners claimed to be members of the Provincial Medical Health Services in the State of Uttar Pradesh. According to them, they were also entitled to be considered for admission in Post Graduate Degree Courses against 30% quota for in-service candidates. That plea was opposed on the ground that 30% quota was reserved only for the in-service candidates who had worked in remote and difficult areas; and not for the in-service Medical Officers generally. In these petitions, the High Court was primarily required to consider the question as to whether the in-service Medical Officers in the State of Uttar Pradesh who had working experience (in areas other than remote and difficult areas), could also be treated as eligible for admission against the reserved 30% quota for in-service candidates in Post Graduate Degree Courses. While considering this issue, the High Court, in the context of Regulation 9, noticed that there was no provision in The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as the Central Enactment or Act of 1956); and the Regulations framed thereunder known as Medical Council of India Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 (hereinafter referred to as the said Regulations), stipulating reservation for in-service candidates against the 30% seats in “Post Graduate Degree Courses”. The provision, however, was only to give weightage of marks to in-service candidates who had worked for specified period in CHC and PHC Hospitals in notified remote, difficult or backward areas of the State. On the other hand, reservation has been limited to Post Graduate “Diploma” Courses by the said Regulations. The High Court, therefore, called upon the Medical Council of India to clarify its stand in this behalf. The Medical Council of India stated before the High Court that no reservation for in-service candidates was permissible in respect of Post Graduate “Degree” Courses; unlike for the Post Graduate “Diploma” Courses, in terms of Regulations framed in that behalf. Further, the State Government could not have framed any statutory Rules much less provided different dispensation by an executive fiat. In light of this stand, the High Court was pleased to hold that the State Government has had no authority to frame any Rules or issue any executive order to provide for reservation in the Post Graduate “Degree” Courses, contrary to the statutory Regulations framed under the

Medical Council of India Act, 1956

(Central Enactment). The High Court whilst adverting to the decisions of this Court including the recent judgment in the case of

Sudhir N. and others Versus State of Kerala and others, (2015) 6 SCC 685

held that Regulation 9 is a complete Code and the admission process must strictly adhere to the norms stipulated therein. It, thus, proceeded to quash the Government Notification-cum-Government Order dated 28th February, 2014 and directed that admissions to Post Graduate “Degree” Courses be proceeded strictly on merits amongst the candidates who have obtained requisite minimum marks in the common entrance examination in question. It also noted that as per Regulation 9, at best, the in-service candidates who have worked in remote and difficult areas in the State, as notified by the State Government/Competent Authority from time to time, alone would be eligible for weightage of marks as incentive at the rate of 10% of the marks obtained for each year of service in such areas upto the maximum of 30% marks obtained in National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test.

5. This common judgment of the High Court has been challenged in appeals arising from SLP (Civil) Nos.13832, 14427, 13872, 15154-56/2016. When these appeals came up for consideration on 12th May, 2016, this Court recorded the statement made on behalf of the State Government and proceeded to pass the following order:

“We have heard learned counsel for the parties at some length. The High Court of Judicature at Allahabad has in terms of the impugned judgment quashed Government Order dated 28th February, 2014 whereby 30% seats in post-graduate degree courses in medicine and other disciplines have been reserved for in-service candidates who had three years or more of rural service in notified and difficult areas. The High Court has relying upon the judgment of this Court in