|Our Legal Correspondent|
New Delhi, Oct. 27: The
Supreme Court today directed the central government and all states to
make sure that super-speciality medical courses are kept "unreserved,
open and free" following complaints that some states were allowing only
domiciled MBBS doctors to appear for entrance exams.|
Justices Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant said there should not be any form of reservation in such courses on the basis of caste, religion, residence or other criteria.
The bench cited an earlier case - Dr Pradeep Jain versus the Union of India and others - in which the top court had in 1984 held that merit was the sole criterion when it came to super-speciality medical courses. But till date, it said, the government has not framed any rules or guidelines to implement the directive.
"In the Dr Pradeep Jain case this court... observed that in super specialities there should really be no reservation. This is... for improving the standard of higher education and thereby... the quality of available medical services...," Justice Misra, who wrote the judgment, observed.
"We hope and trust that the Government of India and the state governments shall seriously consider this aspect... without delay and appropriate guidelines shall be evolved by the Indian Medical Council so as to keep the super specialities... unreserved, open and free."
The judgment came as the court allowed petitions filed by some MBBS doctors. The doctors had complained that while in most of India they are allowed to appear in entrance exams of different states for courses like DM (Doctor of Medicine) and MCh (Master of Chirurgiae), Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu permitted only those domiciled in these states.
This, they said, means that while candidates domiciled in these states can sit for exams in other states, students from other states are barred from taking exams in these states.
The petitioners said this went against constitutional provisions like Articles 14 (equality before law) and 16 (equality of opportunity in public employment, education, etc.).