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Monday, August 6, 2012

the Entrance Examination for Post-Graduate (Medical) Selection 2012, Odisha are challenging the validity of Clause 11.2 of the Prospectus for selection of candidates for Post- Graduate (Medical) Courses in the Government Medical Colleges of Odisha for the Academic Year, 2012, as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. -they are undergoing studies from May 2012 onwards and, at this distance of time, if they are displaced, that will cause serious injustice to them since they have already left the government service/public sector undertakings for joining the post graduate course. In view of the stand taken by the Medical Council -of India that seats for post-graduate courses cannot be increased, we are inclined to give a direction to the State of Odisha or their undertakings to take back the in-service candidates into their service and permit them to serve in the rural/tribal areas so that they can compete through the category of in-service candidates in the 50% seats earmarked for them for admission to the post-graduate course.We are, therefore, inclined to allow this appeal and set aside the judgment of the Division Bench as well as learned Single Judge by quashing the proviso to clause 9(2)(d) of the MCI regulations to the extend indicated above as well as clause 11.2 of the prospectus issued for admission to the Post Graduate Medical Examination 2012 in the State of Odisha. The State of Odisha, the Medical Council of India and respondents 1 to 4 are directed to take urgent steps to re-arrange the merit list and to fill up the seats of the direct category, excluding in-service candidates who got admission in the open category on the strength of weightage, within a period of one week from today and give admission to the open category candidates strictly on the basis of merit. - 36. Appeals are allowed and the judgments of the High Court are set aside accordingly.


                                                                  REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                    CIVIL APPEAL NO.  5705-5706  OF 2012
            [Arising out of SLP (Civil) Nos. 16201-16202 of 2012]


Satyaprata Sahoo & Ors.                                 . Appellants

                                   Versus


State of Orissa & Ors.                            . Respondents
                               J U D G M E N T
K. S. RADHAKRISHNAN, J.


1.    Leave granted.

2.    The appellants, who have appeared  in  the  Entrance  Examination  for
Post-Graduate (Medical) Selection 2012, Odisha are challenging the  validity
of Clause 11.2 of the Prospectus  for  selection  of  candidates  for  Post-
Graduate (Medical) Courses in the Government Medical Colleges of Odisha  for
the Academic Year, 2012, as violative of Article 14 of the  Constitution  of
India.
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3.    The  appellants  appeared  in  the  entrance  examination  as  ‘direct
candidates’  (Open  Category)  and  have  qualified  purely  on  merit   for
admission to Post Graduate (Medical) Courses 2012 in the Government  Medical
Colleges in Odisha.   The  Prospectus  issued  for  Post-Graduate  (Medical)
Selection, 2012, Odisha deals with the availability of  the  seats  both  in
the category of direct as well as in-service.  Clause 4  of  the  Prospectus
gives the category-wise details of the seats for P.G. (Medical)  Courses  in
three Government Medical Colleges in Odisha  for  the  Academic  Year  2012.
For the category MD/MS Course, in-service category, 87 seats  are  available
and for direct  category,  86  seats  are  available,  totaling  173  seats.
Appellants, who fall under the category of  direct  candidates,  as  already
indicated, are aggrieved by Clause 11.2 of the Prospectus  which  stipulates
an additional weightage for candidates who are in employment  of  Government
of Odisha/Government of Odisha undertaking  /  Government  of  India  Public
Undertaking located in Odisha and had worked in Rural/Tribal/Backward  areas
while applying  through  the  category  of  direct  candidates.   Additional
weightage of 10% of marks secured in the P.G. Entrance Examination per  year
of completion of service in -Rural/Tribal/Backward  areas,  subject  to  the
maximum of 30% of marks secured in the entrance examination, in  service  to
be given to those candidates who apply through direct category.


4.     Appellants  submit  that  the  above  clause  is  wholly   arbitrary,
discriminatory and goes contrary to the ratio laid down  by  this  Court  in
State of M.P. & Ors. V. Gopal D. Tirthani & Ors. (2003) 7  SCC  83  and  Dr.
Snehelata Patnaik & Ors. V.  State  of  Orissa  &  Ors.  (1992)  2  SCC  26.
Appellants have also prayed for quashing the Medical Council  of  India  (in
short ‘MCI’) Notification No. 51210 of 17.11.2009 providing weightage  marks
to  in-service  candidates  applying  through  the  direct  category,  which
according to the appellants, is a clear encroachment  and  appropriation  of
seats earmarked for the direct category candidates which has  to  be  filled
up purely on merit, subject to rule of reservation.   Appellants’  challenge
was repelled by the learned single Judge of the Orissa High  Court  as  well
as the Division Bench.  Hence, these  appeals.


5.    Shri Shyam Diwan, learned senior counsel appearing for the  appellants
submits that providing additional weightage marks to  in-service  candidates
who had rendered service in -
Rural/Tribal/Backward  areas  while  considering  their   applications   for
admission through  the  direct  candidate  category  amounts  to  making  an
artificial  differentiation  between  a   homogenous   class   i.e.   direct
candidates and in-service candidates.  Learned senior  counsel  pointed  out
that on account of additional weightage benefit given  to  the  doctors  who
have rendered less than  five  years  of  service  in  Rural/Tribal/Backward
areas both in Government of Odisha or Public Sector  Undertakings  owned  by
the State Government, will  be  an  advantageous  position  and  that  would
amount to drawing an artificial differentiation between a homogeneous  class
i.e. direct candidates and in-service candidates and  also  within  the  in-
service candidates,  which  action  would  be  hit  by  Article  14  of  the
Constitution of India.


6.    Learned senior counsel also pointed out that the same further  amounts
to providing horizontal reservation within the seats  meant  for  in-service
candidates.  Learned senior counsel pointed out that the  admission  through
direct candidates route be made purely on merit on the basis of  the  common
entrance examination and not  on  the  basis  of  the  additional  weightage
granted  to  a  few  doctors  who  -had  the   advantage   of   serving   in
Rural/Tribal/Backward areas while in employment  in  Government  of  Orissa,
Public Sector Undertakings owned by the State Government.


7.    Mrs. Indu Malhotra, learned senior counsel, also submitted  that  such
candidates can always come through the in-service category, a  normal  route
for admission to PG (Medical) Course.  Learned senior  counsel  pointed  out
that additional weightage  is  always  available  to  them  when  they  come
through the in-service category route, however, the same cannot be  extended
to them while applying for admission as  direct  category  candidates,  lest
they may make an inroad  into  the  direct  category,  which  is  arbitrary,
discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of  the  Constitution  of  India.



8.    Shri Krishnan Venugopal, learned senior counsel contesting  on  behalf
of  the  respondents,  on  the  other  hand,  submitted  that  there  is  no
illegality  in  Clause  11.2  of  the  Prospectus  which  gives   additional
weightage to in-service candidates who  fall  under  the  direct  candidates
route, as well as third proviso added  after  clause  9(2)(d)  of  the  Post
Graduate Medical Education (Amendment) -Regulations 2000 as amended by  Post
Graduate Medical  Education  (Amendment)  Regulation  2009  (Part  II)  vide
Notification dated 17.11.2009.  Learned  senior  counsel  pointed  out  that
classification of candidates as  per  Clause  6  and  sub-clauses  providing
weightage marks to such in-service candidates as  per  Clause  11.2  of  the
Prospectus, cannot be  termed  as  discrimination  between  direct  and  in-
service candidates and amongst the in-service  candidates.   Learned  senior
counsel also pointed out  that  the  weightage  marks  given  to  in-service
candidates who have rendered  service  in  Rural/Tribal/Backward  areas  and
qualified in the entrance  examination,  cannot  be  termed  as  “horizontal
reservation” as it is only  the  weightage  of  marks  given  for  rendering
service to the people in Rural/Tribal/Backward areas, in  view  of  the  law
laid down by this Court in Gopal D. Tirthani (supra).


9.    Shri Kirti R. Mishra, learned senior counsel appearing  on  behalf  of
the 4th respondent, submitted that the prospectus has been  issued  strictly
in accordance with the Notification No. 51210  dated  17.11.2009  issued  by
the Medical Council of India, whereby additional weightage  marks  given  as
an incentive for determining -the merit in the entrance  examination  passed
for P.G. admission.  Learned senior counsel submitted that the weightage  in
marks is given as an incentive at the rate of 10% of the marks  obtained  up
to maximum of 30% of the marks obtained for each year  of  service  rendered
in remote or difficult areas.  It was also pointed out that  the  additional
benefit is an incentive only and by awarding such an incentive, there is  no
violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.


10.   Learned  counsel  appearing  for  the  MCI  referred  to  the  counter
affidavit filed on its behalf  and  submitted  that  the  third  proviso  to
Regulation 9(2)(d) of the Post  Graduation  Regulation,  2000  (as  amended)
does not provide for or contemplate any separate channel  of  entry  for  in
service candidates in admission to P.G. Degree Courses  like  that  provided
for P.G. Diploma Courses.  The proviso only provides that  a  weightage  may
be given at the rate of 10% of the marks obtained for each year  in  service
in remote or difficult areas upto the maximum of 30% of the  marks  obtained
in the entrance examination and has secured minimum required -percentage  of
marks for government service rendered in remote/difficult areas.


      We heard counsels on either side at length.


11.   Medical Council of India, in  exercise  of  its  powers  conferred  by
Section 33 read with Section 20 of the Indian  Medical  Council  Act,  1956,
framed the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000.   Clause  9  of
the Regulations 2000 deals with the selection of the postgraduate  students.
 Clause 9(1) was substituted in  terms  of  Notification  published  in  the
Gazette of India on 20.10.2008 and the same now reads as follows:
           “9(1)(a)   Students for Post Graduate medical courses  shall  be
      selected strictly on the basis of their Inter-se Academic Merit.


           (b)   50% of the seats in Post Graduate Diploma Courses shall be
      reserved for Medical Officers in  the  Government  service,  who  have
      served at least three years in  remote  and  difficult  areas.   After
      acquiring the PG Diploma, the Medical Officers  shall  serve  for  two
      more years in remote and/or difficult areas.”


12.   Clauses 9(1)(a) and  9(1)(b) when read together  would  indicate  that
50% seats are earmarked for direct category candidates and  -50%  seats  are
earmarked for in service  category.   Clause  9(1)(a)  clearly  states  that
students for post graduate medical courses shall  be  selected  strictly  on
the basis of their inter-se academic merit and Rule 9(1)(b) states that  50%
of the seats stand reserved for in service  candidates  who  have  at  least
three years service in remote and difficult areas.


13.   The methodology to  be  adopted  for  determining  academic  merit  is
provided in Clause 9(2),  which  is  relevant  for  our  purpose  and  hence
extracted hereunder:
           “9(2)   For    determining    the    ‘Academic    Merit’,    the
      University/Institution may adopt the following methodology:-


           a. On the basis of merit as determined by a  ‘competitive  test’
              conducted  by  the  state  government  or  by  the  competent
              authority  appointed  by  the  state  government  or  by  the
              university/group of universities in the same state; or


           a. On  the  basis  of  merit  as  determined  by  a  centralized
              competitive test held at the national level; or



           a. On the basis of the individual cumulative performance at  the
              first, second and third MBBS examinations provided admissions
              are University wise.  Or



           a. Combination of (a) and (c)



           Provided  that  wherever  ‘Entrance  Test’   for   postgraduates
      admission is held by a state government or a university or  any  other
      authorized  examining  body,  the  minimum  percentage  of  marks  for
      eligibility for admission to postgraduate medical course shall  be  50
      percent for  general  category  candidates  and  40  percent  for  the
      candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes  and  Other
      Backward Classes.


           Provided further that  in  Non-Governmental  institutions  fifty
      percent of the total seats shall be filled by the competent  authority
      notified by the State Government and the remaining  fifty  percent  by
      the management(s) of the institution on the basis of Inter-se Academic
      Merit.”


14.   However, the following proviso  was  added  after  clause  9(2)(d)  in
terms of Gazette Notification published on 17.11.2009 and the same reads  as
follows:
           “Further provided that in determining the merit and the entrance
      test for postgraduate admission weightage in the marks may be given as
      an incentive at the rate of 10% of the marks obtained for each year in
      service in remote or difficult areas upto the maximum of  30%  of  the
      marks obtained.”


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15.   Above Clause 9, therefore, stipulates the methodology  to  be  adopted
for determining the inter-se academic merit of  candidates  who  fall  under
direct category and of those candidates who ultimately fall under 50%  seats
reserved for in-service candidates.  Clause 9(1)(a) clearly stipulates  that
students for postgraduate medical courses shall be selected strictly on  the
basis of “inter-se academic merit”.   The main controversy in this  case  is
whether the candidates from direct admission category  has  to  be  selected
strictly on the basis of their inter-se academic  merit  or  whether  it  is
legal to dilute the merit to the extent as indicated in  the  third  Proviso
to Clause 9(2)(d). Candidates who fall in the  direct  candidates  category,
whether they are fresh from the college  or  serving  elsewhere,  either  on
Government  service  or  under  public-sector   undertakings,   working   in
rural/Tribal area or  otherwise  or  doctors  who  are  serving  in  private
hospitals or nursing homes etc. situate in remote  or  difficult  area,  all
fall in that direct category and all of them have to take a common  entrance
examination and admission criteria is  only  comparative  merit.   When  the
comparative merit is the only criteria in the open  category,  the  question
is whether a weightage can be given exclusively to those candidates who  are
in -service of State of Odisha/Government  of  Odisha  undertaking,  whether
contractual/temporary/ad-hoc/regular on the ground that they had  worked  in
rural/tribal/backward areas.  It may be noted that 50%  seats  have  already
been earmarked for such category of candidates which they can  always  claim
depending upon the inter-se merit after  complying  with  other  eligibility
criteria.  Question is whether those in-service candidates  can  appropriate
seats from the open category where seats are only few.

16.   Clause 11.2 in the Prospectus issued by the P.G.  (Medical)  Selection
Committee 2012, giving additional weightage to those in-service  candidates,
reads as follows:
           “11.2 Those in-service candidates  who  have  qualified  in  the
      Entrance Examination and worked in Rural/Tribal/Backward  areas  shall
      be awarded an additional weightage of 10% of the marks secured in  the
      P.G.  Entrance  Examination  per  year  of  completion   service   (in
      Rural/Tribal/Backward areas), subject  to  maximum  of  30%  of  marks
      secured in  entrance  examination,  vide  MCI  Notification  No.51210/
      dt.17.11.2009 (In Form No.Appendix-III(A)).”




      Candidates fall under the Direct Category is provided under  Clause  6
of the Prospectus, which reads as follows:
      “6.   CATEGORY OF CANDIDATES:


      6.1.  A Direct Candidate is one who at the time of application:


      6.1.1  Is son/daughter/spouse of a person who has  served  in  Defence
      Service for minimum of 5 years by 31st December, 2011.


      6.1.2   Is either unemployed or in the  employment  of  Government  of
      Odisha, but not completed five years of  service  which  includes  all
      categories of employment like contractual/temporary/ad-hoc/regular  by
      31st December, 2011


      6.1.3    in  the  employment  of  Govt.  of   Orissa   Public   Sector
      Undertaking/Govt.  of  India  Public  Sector  Undertaking  located  in
      Odisha.  The employer has to sponsor the candidates for entire  period
      & must submit the sponsorship certificate as in Appendix III.”




      Clause 6.2 deals with In-service candidate which reads as follows:
      “6.2   An In-service candidate is one who at the time of application:


      6.2.1   Is in the employment of Government of Odisha and has completed
      a length of 5 years  of  service  which  includes  all  categories  of
      employment  like  contractual/temporary/  ad-hoc/  regular   by   31st
      December, 2011, excluding at-a-stretch leave of any kind, of  30  days
      or more.  However, the maternity leave is exempted from this exclusion
      and shall be counted towards the length of five years of service.


      Note:  In-service and Direct candidates in employment under Government
      of Odisha at the time of application -
      are advised to submit  their  applications  along  with  the  required
      documents directly to the Convenor, P.G. (Medical) Selection Committee
      – 2012, under intimation to their Employer.  Copy of  such  intimation
      is to be attached.”




17.   Clauses 6.1,  6.2  and  11.2,  quoted  above,  clearly  recognize  two
categories of candidates i.e. “direct”  and  “in-service”.   “Direct”  is  a
very wide category (open category) where students for P.G.  Medical  Courses
shall be selected strictly on the  basis  of  inter-se  academic  merit,  as
determined by a competitive test and in-service is a restricted category  of
candidates  who  are  in  service  of  the  State   Government/State   owned
undertakings. The details of the  availability  of  seats  are  provided  in
Clause 4 of the prospectus which is as follows:
                    “Category-wise Distribution of Seats
|Category |Unreserved |        |       |       |            |          |Total |
|MD/MS    |           |        |       |       |            |          |      |
|Course   |           |        |       |       |            |          |      |
|         |           |ST(12%) |SC(8%) |PH(3%) |Defence(3%) |Greencard |      |
|         |           |        |       |       |            |(5%)      |      |
|In-servic|62         |10      |7      |3      |0           |5         |87    |
|e        |           |        |       |       |            |          |      |
|Direct   |59         |11      |7      |2      |3           |4         |86    |
|Total    |121        |21      |14     |5      |3           |9         |173   |

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18.   Seats in the direct category are also reserved for  members  of  SC/ST
communities and also to those SC/ST candidates migrated from their state  of
origin subject  to  certain  conditions.   Clause  6.4  reserves  seats  for
children or spouse of service/Ex-service personnel  (Defence).   Clause  6.5
states that seats are reserved for physically  handicapped  candidates  also
subject  to  rules  governing  them.   In  other  words,  several   reserved
candidates have also to be accommodated  in  the  50%  Open  Category.   50%
seats ear marked for the in-service candidates is kept intact, for which in-
service candidates can always aspire and if they satisfy  the  condition  of
rural/Tribal service, they will definitely get weightage.


19.   Now by virtue of third proviso to Clause 9(2)(d) and  clause  11.2  of
the Prospectus candidates who fall under the in-service category  are  given
a weightage  through  which  they  can  make  an  in-road  into  the  direct
candidates category while retaining their rights to get admission  for  P.G.
Course through in-service category.   Appellants  lament  that  already  66%
reservation is there  in  the  State  for  P.G.  Admissions,  including  all
reservations  and  only  34%  seats  are  available  for  direct  unreserved
category on merit and if third -proviso to  Clause  9(2)(d)  of  the  M.C.I.
Regulation and Clause 11.2 of the  Prospectus  are  given  effect  to   then
those seats would be occupied by the in-service candidates large  in  number
and candidates who  comes  strictly  on  the  basis  of  merit  through  the
competitive examination will have to stand out.


20.   This Court in Gopal D. Tirthani (supra) upheld the allocation  of  20%
seats for in-service candidates and held that weightage can be given to  in-
service candidates for their having rendered specified number  of  years  of
service in rural/tribal areas  which  is  not  hit  by  Article  14  of  the
Constitution of India.  This Court held that allocation of 20% of  seats  in
Post  Graduation  in  the  University  of  Madhya  Pradesh  for   in-service
candidate is not a reservation, it is a separate and  exclusive  channel  of
entry or source of admission, validity thereof cannot be determined  on  the
constitutional principles applicable to communal  reservations.   Having  so
said, the Court held as follows:
           “33.  ………Firstly, it is a case  of  post-graduation  within  the
      State and not an All-India quota.  Secondly,  it  is  not  a  case  of
      reservation, but one of only assigning weightage for service  rendered
      in rural/tribal areas. Thirdly, on the view of the law we  have  taken
      hereinabove, the assigning of weightage for service -
           rendered in rural/tribal area does not  at  all  affect  in  any
      manner the candidates in open category. …………..”


21.   Therefore, in Tirthani case, it has been categorically  held  that  it
is permissible to assign a reasonable  weightage  to  services  rendered  in
rural/tribal  areas  by  the  in-service  candidates  for  the  purpose   of
determining inter se merit within the class  of  in-service  candidates  who
have qualified in the pre-PG test by securing the minimum  qualifying  marks
as prescribed by the Medical Council of India.  Regulation 9 framed  by  the
Medical Council of India  was  also  noticed  by  this  Court  so  also  the
existence of two categories: (1) direct category (open category)  candidates
and (2) in-service  category  candidates.   Weightage  given  for  rendering
service in rural/tribal areas, so far as in-service candidates,  was  upheld
noticing  that  the  assigning  of  weightage  for   service   rendered   in
rural/tribal areas would not affect in any manner  the  candidates  in  open
category.


22.   We may, in this connection, refer to  few  earlier  judgments  in  the
matter  of  giving  weightage  to  in-service  candidates   although   those
decisions were also considered in Tirthani case.   In  State  of  -U.P.  and
Others. v. Pradip Tandon and  Others.  (1975)  1  SCC  267,  reservation  in
favour  of  people  in  “hill  areas”  and  Uttarakhand  was  held   to   be
constitutionally valid as they  were  socially  and  educationally  backward
classes of citizens.  Reservation in  favour  of  “rural  areas”  was  found
difficult to accept as it was sought to be justified on the test of  poverty
as the determining factor of social  backwardness.   This  Court  held  that
rural element did not make a  class  by  itself  because  it  could  not  be
accepted that the  rural  people  were  necessarily  poor  or  socially  and
educationally backward just as the urban people were not  necessarily  rich.
What was being dealt with in Pradip Tandon case was a reservation and not  a
weightage.  Later in Dinesh  Kumar  (Dr.)  (II)  v.  Motilal  Nehru  Medical
College (1986) 3  SCC  727,  the  two-Judges  Bench  examined  a  scheme  of
examination  for  admission  to  postgraduate  courses  suggested   by   the
Government of India stipulating a weightage equivalent to  15  per  cent  of
the  total  marks  obtained  by  a  student  at   the   All-India   Entrance
Examination, being given if he had put in a minimum  of  3  years  of  rural
service.  In  that  case,  of  course,  this  Court  observed  that  it  was
eminently desirable that some incentive should be given to  the  doctors  to
go to the rural -areas because there was concentration  of  doctors  in  the
urban areas and the rural areas appeared to be neglected.   The  observation
made in Dinesh Kumar case was  considered  by  three-Judges  Bench  of  this
Court in Dr. Snehelata Patnaik  (supra)  and  this  Court  opined  that  the
authorities might well consider giving weightage upto maximum of 5 per  cent
of marks in favour of in-service candidates who had done rural  service  for
five years or more, the determination of  which  have  to  be  made  by  the
authorities.


23.   We have referred to the above mentioned  judgments  only  to  indicate
the fact that this Court in various  judgments  has  acknowledged  the  fact
that weightage could be given for  doctors  who  have  rendered  service  in
rural/tribal areas but  that  weightage  is  available  only  in  in-service
category, to which 50% seats for PG admission has  already  been  earmarked.
The question is whether,  on  the  strength  of  that  weightage,  can  they
encroach upon the open category, i.e direct admission category.  We  are  of
the view  that  such  encroachment  or  inroad  or  appropriation  of  seats
earmarked for open category candidates  (direct  admission  category)  would
-definitely affect the candidates who compete strictly on the basis  of  the
merit.

24.   The purpose and object for giving weightage to  in-service  candidates
who have rendered rural/tribal service is laudable and  their  interest  has
been taken care  of  by  the  Medical  Council  of  India  as  well  as  the
prospectus issued for admission to the various medical colleges in State  of
Odisha but they have to come through the proper  channel  i.e.  the  channel
exclusively earmarked for in-service candidates and not through the  channel
earmarked for candidates in the open category.   The  in-service  candidates
are also free to compete through the open category just like any  other  who
fall under that category.  Further, it is also relevant to  note  those  who
get admission in post graduate courses through the  open  category  have  to
execute a bond stating  that  they  would  serve  rural/tribal  areas  after
completion of their post-graduation.   In fact, weightage is given to  those
candidates who  have  rendered  service  in  rural/tribal  areas  when  they
compete for admission to PG (Medical) Courses  in  in-service  category  for
whom 50% seats are earmarked.


25.   We also find another fallacy in Clause 11.2 read with Clause 6.2.1  of
the prospectus.  Clause 6.2.1 of the prospectus  says  in-service  candidate
is one who at the time of application is in the employment in Government  of
Odisha and has completed a length of 5 years of service  which  include  all
categories of employment like contractual/temporary/ad-hoc/regular  by  31st
December 2011.  Therefore, a doctor who is doing rural service  on  contract
or on temporary basis or on ad hoc basis by 31st  December  2011  will  also
get the benefit.  At the same time, the candidates who pass out MBBS  either
in regular service or in contractual  /  temporary/  ad  hoc  in  a  private
hospital even though serving in a remote/tribal areas  would  not  get  that
benefit even though those doctors  are  also  rendering  the  same  service.
Every doctor who goes out of medical college after MBBS  would  not  get  an
opportunity   to   serve   in   a   rural/   tribal   area   by    way    of
contractual/temporary/ad-hoc or regular service  offered  by  the  State  of
Odisha or a public sector.   Few may  fall  in  that  category  for  various
reasons and they get an advantage  and  those  who  get  that  advantage  of
course can, claim weightage when  they  are  being  considered  in  the  in-
service category.


26.    We notice that the seats earmarked for the open category  by  way  of
merit are few in number and encroachment by the in-service  candidates  into
that open category would violate clause  9(1)(a)  of  the  MCI  regulations,
which says students for PG medical courses shall  be  selected  strictly  on
the basis of the inter se academic merit i.e. on  the  basis  of  the  merit
determined by the competent test.  Direct category or  open  category  is  a
homogeneous class which consists of all categories  of  candidates  who  are
fresh from college, who have rendered service after MBBS  in  Government  or
private hospitals in remote and difficult areas  like  hilly  areas,  tribal
and rural areas and so on.   All of them have to complete on merit being  in
the  direct  candidate  category,  subject  to  rules  of  reservation   and
eligibility.  But  there  can  be  no  encroachment  from  one  category  to
another.  Candidates of in-service category cannot encroach  upon  the  open
category, so also vice-versa.


27.   We find, except State of Odisha and, to some extent,  State  of  Tamil
Nadu, none of the other States in India, has incorporated such a  clause  in
any of their prospectus for admission to the graduate  medical  courses  and
students who fall under the open -category in those States  are,  therefore,
not affected by such weightage.


28.   Medical  Council  of  India  in  the  counter  affidavit  raised  some
objections for giving admissions beyond the sanctioned  admission  capacity.
Reference was made to Section  10A  of  the  MCI  Act  which  provides  that
admissions can be made by Medical Colleges only within  sanctioned  capacity
for which permission under Section 10A/recognition under Section  11(2)  has
been granted.  This Court in State of Punjab and  Others  v.  Renuka  Singla
and Others (1994) 1 SCC 175 held that the High Court or  the  Supreme  Court
cannot be generous or liberal in issuing such directions which in  substance
amount  to  directing  the  authorities  concerned  to  violate  their   own
statutory rules and regulations,  in  respect  of  admissions  of  students.
Technical education, including medical  education,  requires  infrastructure
to cope with the requirement of giving proper  education  to  the  students,
who  are  admitted.   Taking   into   consideration,   the   infrastructure,
equipment, staff, the limit of the number of admissions is fixed  either  by
the Medical council of India.


29.   Further, in Medical Council of India v. State of  Karnataka  (1998)  6
SCC 131, this Court held the number of students admitted cannot be over  and
above that fixed by the Medical Council as  per  the  Regulations  and  that
seats in medical  colleges  cannot  be  increased  indiscriminately  without
regard to proper infrastructure  as  per  the  Regulations  of  the  Medical
Council.


30.   In Mriduldhar (Minor) and another v. Union of Indiaand  Others  (2005)
2 SCC 65, this Court held as follows:
           “Having regard to the professional courses  into  consideration,
      it deserves to be emphasized that all concerned including Governments,
      State and Central both,  MCI/DCI,  colleges,  new  or  old,  students,
      Boards, universities,  examining  authorities  etc.  are  required  to
      strictly adhere to time schedule wherever provided for;  there  should
      not be mid-stream admission; admission should  not  be  in  excess  of
      sanctioned intake capacity or in excess of quota of any  one,  whether
      Stare or Management. The carrying forward of any unfilled seats of one
      academic year to next academic year is also not permissible.”


31.   It is unnecessary to multiply the judgment rendered by this Court,  on
this point, the question is how to mould the  reliefs,  especially  when  we
cannot, in the facts and circumstance of the  -case,  direct  the  State  of
Odisha and the Medical Council of India to  increase  the  seats  so  as  to
accommodate the  appellants.   Seats  which  are  legitimately  due  to  the
appellants are being occupied by the candidates from in-service category.


32.   Contention was raised by learned counsel, appearing for  some  of  the
in-service candidates who got admission that they  shall  not  be  displaced
since they have already left their jobs from the  State  Government  service
or the  State  owned  undertakings  after  having  got  admission  for  P.G.
(Medical) Course.  But, going by the stand taken by MCI and on the basis  of
the decided cases of this Court, it would not be possible  to  increase  the
seats, however, candidates who are meritorious should get admission.


33.   Contention was raised that all the affected candidates were  not  made
parties to the writ  petition  and,  therefore,  without  hearing  them,  no
orders shall be passed against them thereby depriving them of  their  seats.
Learned counsel for the appellants has stated that they had  approached  the
High Court of Orissa on 13.01.2012 i.e soon after the prospectus was  issued
and the declaration of the provisional merit list took place  on  10.04.2012
subsequent to the -filing  of  the  writ  petition.   Learned  Single  Judge
rendered the judgment before the results were  declared  on  23.03.2012  and
the  Division  Bench  dismissed  the  appeal  on  09.04.2012.    The   first
counseling was  conducted  between  21.04.2012  to  23.04.2012.   Since  the
appellants had approached the court on 13.01.2012 and  the  matter  was  sub
judice before a court of law and this proceeding is only a  continuation  of
the writ petition filed by them on 13.01.2012, we are,  of  the  view,  that
the admissions given to  the  in-service  candidates  necessarily  would  be
subject to the outcome of the petitions pending before  the  court  of  law.
Therefore, in our view, non-impleadment of few of those candidates in  these
proceedings would not affect the legitimate claim raised by the  appellants.


34.   Learned counsel appearing for  the  contesting  respondents  submitted
that they are  undergoing  studies  from  May  2012  onwards  and,  at  this
distance of time, if they are displaced, that will cause  serious  injustice
to them since they have already left the  government  service/public  sector
undertakings for joining the post graduate course.  In  view  of  the  stand
taken by the Medical Council -of India that seats for post-graduate  courses
cannot be increased, we are inclined to give a direction  to  the  State  of
Odisha or their undertakings to take back  the  in-service  candidates  into
their service and permit them to serve in the  rural/tribal  areas  so  that
they can compete through the category of in-service candidates  in  the  50%
seats earmarked for them for admission to the post-graduate course.

35.   We are, therefore, inclined to allow this appeal  and  set  aside  the
judgment of the Division Bench as well as learned Single Judge  by  quashing
the proviso  to  clause  9(2)(d)  of  the  MCI  regulations  to  the  extend
indicated above as  well  as  clause  11.2  of  the  prospectus  issued  for
admission to the Post Graduate Medical Examination  2012  in  the  State  of
Odisha. The State of Odisha, the Medical Council of India and respondents  1
to 4 are directed to take urgent steps to re-arrange the merit list  and  to
fill up the seats of the direct category,  excluding  in-service  candidates
who got admission in the open category on the strength of weightage,  within
a period of one week from today and give  admission  to  the  open  category
candidates strictly on the basis of merit.
-
36.   Appeals are allowed and the judgments of the High Court are set  aside
accordingly.
                                        ………………………………..J
                                        (K.S. Radhakrishnan)






                                                            ………………………………..J.
                                        (Dipak Misra)
New Delhi,
August 3, 2012


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