The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear petition seeking post-graduation seats in medical courses between non-service doctors and in-service doctors on Thursday.
The Apex Court will be hearing the plea filed by non-service doctors challenging the double bench April 7 order of Rajasthan High Court to government allowing 10 per cent incentive marks to in-service MBBS doctors who have served in remote areas in NEET 2017 for admissions in PG courses
“Let it be listed tomorrow for hearing,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said when the plea filed by Amit Bagra and other doctors, who have MBBS degree but not in government service, was mentioned for urgent hearing.
The larger bench of the high court had vacated the stay granted by a single judge bench on the state government’s notification on the issue.
In the appeal, filed through lawyer Sahir Hussain has alleged that the Rajasthan government has decided to give 10 per cent incentive marks to in-service MBBS doctors without defining the remote areas.
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 had begun in September 2016 whereas the state government notification came on March 20, 2017.
The petitioners are MBBS students of non-service category who appeared in NEET-PG 2017 and cleared it.
"It is a well settled proposition of law that the criteria of selection cannot be changed once the process of selection has already commenced.
"Thus even if the state government, now proceeds with framing any guidelines/regulation/policy/law etc, with the object to notify and define remote and difficult area for all beneficial schemes of the state for such areas and not limited to the matter of admission in PG medical courses, the same shall be applied prospectively," the plea filed in the apex court said.
It said the state government, at this belated stage, cannot change the selection criteria under the garb of any future guidelines/regulations as is propounded by the Supreme Court in a plethora of judgements.
"Thus the selection process for admission for year 2017 has to be governed by the old scheme, wherein there is no place for incentive marks," it said.
The MCI Regulation gives the state a discretion to give or not to give incentive to the in-service candidates.
"For the benefit of incentive to be given to the in- service category students, it is relevant for the state to define and explain in discernible terms keeping the remoteness and difficulty of an area under consideration that what is remote or difficult area and which candidate belongs to remote area for the purpose," it said.
The plea said that defining the remote/difficult area would give an option to the medical officers to opt for such area in order to avail benefits of the incentive marks and it is only after someone has consciously opted for working in a remote area, that any benefit of marks can be awarded