The Karnataka High Court by way of interim relief has directed that the state government notification dated 04.10.2021 in regards to compulsory one-year rural service, shall not be operative as against 38 MBBS graduates of St John's Medical College.
A single bench of Justice R Devdas while hearing a petition filed by Dr. Gali Samrat and others said, "Since the petitioners have made out a prima facie case for their exemption from the rural services, the petitioners are entitled for interim relief. Consequently, it is directed that the notification dated 04.10.2021 issued by the State Government shall not be operative as against the petitioners herein until further orders."
The bench clarified, "It is made clear that this interim order shall be subject to the final outcome of this writ petition. If the petitioners do not succeed in this writ petition, they shall undergo compulsory services in terms of the provisions of law. The respondent-State is also permitted to move an application for vacating the interim order if it is found that there was no separate exemption given under the Karnataka State Revised Information Bulletin."
Advocate Akkamahadevi Hiremath appearing for the petitioner submitted that in the brochure-"Karnataka State Revised Information Bulletin for Centralised Counseling for Post Graduate Admissions to Degree/Diploma Medical and Dental Courses", a separate note was put up stating St.John's Medical College eligibility. As per clause 5.4(a) (ii), the students were required to furnish a certificate of two-year rural service issued by the Director of St.John's Medical College. Further, the Certificate Confirmation for PG Category 1 and 2 certifying that the said student who graduated from SJMC had done two years of rural service as required by the bond executed by him/her at the time of his/her admission is SJMC is separately given.
It was pointed out that it is clearly stated in the memorandum of writ petition that petitioners No.1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 19, 24, 31, 36 and 38 had already undertaken two years of rural service at the SJMC and the other 25 petitioners have signed a Bond to do one year of compulsory service at SJMC in terms of the prescription in the Bulletin of the Karnataka Examinations Authority.
However, the Additional Advocate General, appearing on behalf of the State, referred to the order dated 30.08.2019 passed in W.P.No.40566/2015 and connected matters, in the case of Ms Bushra Abdul Aleem Vs. The State of Karnataka & others and connected matters by this court. It was submitted that this contention of the students of SJMC has already been considered by the co-ordinate Bench and their contention that they stand excluded from the provisions of the Act and the Rules for compulsory services has been negated.
Further, it was argued that clause (11) of the Bulletin/brochure that all the candidates except those who have already undergone compulsory rural service after award of MBBS Degree are required to undertake the compulsory services and there is no separate exception carved out for the students who have secured MBBS Degree from SJMC.
The court on going through the records placed before it said, "This Court finds that the separate provisions made in the Bulletin issued by the Directorate of Medical Education, Government of Karnataka and the Karnataka Examinations Authority, making separate provision for SJMC, MBBS Degree Holders enabling the students who prosecuted MBBS Course at SJMC to undergo two years of rural service and a Bond in that regard having been directed to be executed at the time of admissions to SJMC and another category of SJMC students, who had not already undergone two years rural service, who are required to execute a one year Bond to serve in St.John's National Academy of Health Sciences and/or its approved Health Care Centres after the completion of PG course and a bond to be executed which levies penalty of Rs.5 lakhs for contravention, it clearly shows that a separate provision has been made for the students of SJMC in the said Bulletin itself."
Further, it said: "It has been asserted by the petitioners that they have either undergone two years of rural service as prescribed in the Bulletin and/or some of the petitioners have signed a bond to do one year of compulsory service. Therefore, the petitioners cannot be compelled to undergo the compulsory services, prima facie."
Accordingly, the court directed, "It is made clear that the petitioners who furnish a certificate from SJMC that they have undertaken rural service are entitled for release of their testimonials/ marks cards and Registration and NOC from Karnataka Medical Council, which shall, however, be subject to the final outcome of this writ petition."
Case Title: Dr Gali Samrat And State Of Karnataka
Case No: WP 18445/2021