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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Service matter - Promotion to Asst. Professor - one of the qualification - Post Graduation Degree - rejected as it is not recognised by M.C.I.- single judge too dismissed the writ - LPA allowed as there is at least suggestion that Postgraduate degree should be recognized by MCI for considering the promotion - Apex court confirmed the LPA and dismissed this appeal = Dr.Purshotam Kumar Kaundal ....Appellant Versus State of H.P. and Others ....Respondents = 2014 ( Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41214

Service matter - Promotion to Asst. Professor - one of the qualification - Post Graduation Degree - rejected as it is not recognised by M.C.I.- single judge too dismissed the writ - LPA allowed as there is at least suggestion that Postgraduate degree should be recognized by MCI for considering the promotion - Apex court confirmed the LPA and dismissed this appeal =
whether  respondent  No.5  Dr.
D.D. Gupta was eligible for being considered for promotion to  the  post  of
Assistant  Professor  in  accordance  with  the  Himachal  Pradesh   Medical
Education Service Rules, 1999.  
In  our  opinion,  the  question  should  be
answered in the affirmative and against the appellant  Dr.  Purshotam  Kumar
Kaundal.
Dr. Gupta had obtained a post graduation degree in  Pharmacology  from
the Maharishi  Dayanand  University,  Rohtak  on  31st  December,  1991.  He
believed that he met the eligibility criterion as per the Service Rules  and
ought to have been  considered  for  promotion  to  the  post  of  Assistant
Professor.
 But he  was  not
considered  apparently on the ground that he did not possess an M.D.  degree
in Pharmacology duly recognized by the Medical Council of India  (for  short
the MCI).  
We were told that this decision was based on a letter  dated  8th
July, 2001 issued by the Deputy Secretary in the  MCI  to  the  Director  of
Medical Education and Research, Himachal Pradesh in which it  is  stated  as
follows :-

           “Kindly refer to your letter No. HFW  (DME)  H(1)A-20/99,  dated
           1.9.2001,  this  is  to  inform  you  that   MD   (Pharmacology)
           qualification  granted  by  Maharishi  Dayanand  University   in
           respect of students being trained at Pt B.D. Sharma Postgraduate
           Institute of Medical Science is not recognized  by  the  Council
           for purposes of IMC Act, 1956.” 
When challenged in High court =
The  learned  Single
Judge held that since an M.D. in Pharmacology from  the  Maharishi  Dayanand
University was not included in the First Schedule to the Act, Dr. Gupta  was
not eligible for being considered for promotion to  the  post  of  Assistant
Professor in Pharmacology.  It was also held that since  Maharishi  Dayanand
University did not  apply  for  recognition  of  the  qualification  to  the
Central Government in terms of Section 11(2) of the Act, Dr. Gupta was  also
not entitled to the benefit of that sub-section of Section 11  of  the  Act.
Dismissed the petition =
By its judgment and order dated 19th October, 2011  the  High  Court
agreed with Dr. Gupta and allowed the letters patent appeal  and  set  aside
the  judgment  and  order  of  the  learned  Single  Judge. =The High Court was of the view  that  the  eligibility  criteria  only
required a recognized post graduation degree.  
It did  not  require  a  post graduation degree recognized by the MCI.  
The degree obtained by  Dr.  Gupta
was a recognized post graduation degree inasmuch as it was  conferred  by  a
recognized statutory university.  
Therefore,  Dr.  Gupta  was  eligible  for
being considered for  promotion  to  the  post  of  Assistant  Professor  in
Pharmacology. There  is  nothing  to  suggest   that   recognition  of  the  post
graduation degree must be by  the  MCI.
=
When challenged in Apex court = 
  It was also contended that the post graduation degree obtained by  Dr.
Gupta was subsequently recognized by the MCI by  a  Notification  issued  in
2004 and that the Notification would not have retrospective effect so as  to
make Dr. Gupta  eligible  for  consideration  for  promotion.    It  is  not
necessary for us to deal with this contention since we have  held  that  Dr.
Gupta’s post graduation degree did not require any recognition by the MCI.

16.   Finally, it was contended that if Dr. Gupta is promoted  it  would  be
contrary to the Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical  Institutions
Regulations, 1998.  This submission was not  made  by  Dr.  Kaundal  at  any
point of time and was only raised in passing by his learned counsel  in  his
rejoinder submissions.  We are not inclined to entertain this submission  at
this stage.

17.   We find no merit in this appeal and it is accordingly dismissed.



2014 ( Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41214
RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI, MADAN B. LOKUR
   
                                                          REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                         CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTON

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.1956  OF 2014
                 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.7729 of 2012)




Dr.Purshotam Kumar Kaundal                        ....Appellant

                                   Versus

State of H.P. and Others                                ....Respondents



                               J U D G M E N T



Madan B. Lokur, J.

      Leave granted.

2.    The only question for consideration is
 whether  respondent  No.5  Dr.
D.D. Gupta was eligible for being considered for promotion to  the  post  of
Assistant  Professor  in  accordance  with  the  Himachal  Pradesh   Medical
Education Service Rules, 1999.  
In  our  opinion,  the  question  should  be
answered in the affirmative and against the appellant  Dr.  Purshotam  Kumar
Kaundal.

3.    The eligibility criteria  for  promotion  to  the  post  of  Assistant
Professor, as laid down in the Service Rules  is as follows:-

           “By promotion from amongst the lecturers who possess three years
           regular service or  regular  combined  with  continuous  ad  hoc
           (rendered upto 31.3.1998) service, if any, in the grade  in  the
           concerned specialty failing which by appointment  (by  selection
           from amongst the members of H.P. Civil Medical Service  (General
           Wing) having recognized post-graduation degree or its equivalent
           qualification in the concerned specialty and  possess  at  least
           three        years        teaching         experience         as
           Lecturer/Registrar/Demonstrator/Tutor/Sr.         Resident/Chief
           Resident in the concerned specialty after doing  post-graduation
           in the concerned specialty failing which by direct recruitment.”



4.    Dr. Gupta had obtained a post graduation degree in  Pharmacology  from
the Maharishi  Dayanand  University,  Rohtak  on  31st  December,  1991.  He
believed that he met the eligibility criterion as per the Service Rules  and
ought to have been  considered  for  promotion  to  the  post  of  Assistant
Professor.

5.    However, when his case came up for consideration for promotion  before
the Departmental Promotion  Committee  on  28th  August,  2001  he  was  not
considered  apparently on the ground that he did not possess an M.D.  degree
in Pharmacology duly recognized by the Medical Council of India  (for  short
the MCI).
We were told that this decision was based on a letter  dated  8th
July, 2001 issued by the Deputy Secretary in the  MCI  to  the  Director  of
Medical Education and Research, Himachal Pradesh in which it  is  stated  as
follows :-

           “Kindly refer to your letter No. HFW  (DME)  H(1)A-20/99,  dated
           1.9.2001,  this  is  to  inform  you  that   MD   (Pharmacology)
           qualification  granted  by  Maharishi  Dayanand  University   in
           respect of students being trained at Pt B.D. Sharma Postgraduate
           Institute of Medical Science is not recognized  by  the  Council
           for purposes of IMC Act, 1956.”

6.    Dr.  Gupta  challenged  the  failure  of  the  Departmental  Promotion
Committee to consider him for promotion by filing  an  original  application
before the State Administrative Tribunal.    The  original  application  was
transferred to the High Court of Himachal Pradesh and registered as CWP  (T)
No.7948 of 2008.

7.    By a judgment and order dated 9th August, 2010 a learned Single  Judge
of the High Court rejected  the  writ  petition  filed  by  Dr.  Gupta.  The
learned Single Judge held that Section 11(1) of the Indian  Medical  Council
Act,  1956  (for  short  the  Act)  provides   that   only   those   medical
qualifications granted by any university or  medical  institution  in  India
which are included in the First Schedule to  the  Act  shall  be  recognized
medical qualifications for the purposes of  the  Act.   The  learned  Single
Judge held that since an M.D. in Pharmacology from  the  Maharishi  Dayanand
University was not included in the First Schedule to the Act, Dr. Gupta  was
not eligible for being considered for promotion to  the  post  of  Assistant
Professor in Pharmacology.  It was also held that since  Maharishi  Dayanand
University did not  apply  for  recognition  of  the  qualification  to  the
Central Government in terms of Section 11(2) of the Act, Dr. Gupta was  also
not entitled to the benefit of that sub-section of Section 11  of  the  Act.
The learned Single Judge also referred to Section  2(h)  of  the  Act  which
defines a recognised medical qualification as meaning  any  of  the  medical
qualifications included in the schedules of the Act. It was  held  that  the
qualification obtained by Dr. Gupta from the Maharishi  Dayanand  University
did not fall under any schedule to the Act.  Accordingly, the writ  petition
was dismissed by the learned Single Judge.

8.    Feeling aggrieved, Dr. Gupta preferred LPA No.176 of 2010 in the  High
Court.
By its judgment and order dated 19th October, 2011  the  High  Court
agreed with Dr. Gupta and allowed the letters patent appeal  and  set  aside
the  judgment  and  order  of  the  learned  Single  Judge.   The   official
respondents were directed by the High Court to hold  a  review  departmental
promotion committee for the post of Assistant Professor within a  period  of
eight weeks.  It was also held that Dr.  Gupta  would  be  entitled  to  all
consequential  benefits  in  case  he  is  found  suitable  by  the   review
departmental promotion committee for appointment to the  post  of  Assistant
Professor in 2001.

9.    The High Court was of the view  that  the  eligibility  criteria  only
required a recognized post graduation degree.  It did  not  require  a  post
graduation degree recognized by the MCI.  The degree obtained by  Dr.  Gupta
was a recognized post graduation degree inasmuch as it was  conferred  by  a
recognized statutory university.  Therefore,  Dr.  Gupta  was  eligible  for
being considered for  promotion  to  the  post  of  Assistant  Professor  in
Pharmacology.

10.   The High Court also noted  that  in  a  later  departmental  promotion
committee held on or about 25th November, 2012 Dr. Gupta was found  eligible
for being considered  for  promotion to the post of Assistant Professor  and
was in fact so promoted, while holding the same qualifications.

11.   We are of the opinion that no fault can be found with the  view  taken
by the High Court in the letters patent  appeal  filed  by  Dr.  Gupta.  The
Service Rules mainly concern themselves with a  recognized  post  graduation
degree.  There  is  nothing  to  suggest   that   recognition  of  the  post
graduation degree must be by  the  MCI.   On  the  contrary,  we  have  gone
through the Service Rules and find that wherever recognition by the  MCI  is
postulated, there is a specific reference to it in the Service Rules.

12.   Rule 2(n) of the Service Rules defines a post  graduate  qualification
as meaning a qualification as specified in Appendix  C-I  and  II.   We  are
concerned with  Appendix  C-II  which  contains  a  list  of  post  graduate
qualifications.   Some  of  the  post  graduation   degrees   that   require
recognition by the MCI are specifically  mentioned  therein.  These  are  as
follows:

|Sl. No. |Subject           |Part A                   |Part B           |
|23.     |Cardiology        |D.M. Cardiology 2/3 years|-                |
|        |                  |course as recognized by  |                 |
|        |                  |M.C.I. after             |                 |
|        |                  |M.D.Medicine, or M.B.B.S.|                 |
|        |                  |and 5 years direct course|                 |
|        |                  |leading to D.M.          |                 |
|        |                  |Cardiology.              |                 |
|24      |Gastro-Entrology  |D.M.Gastro-enterology 2/3|_                |
|        |                  |years course as          |                 |
|        |                  |recognized by M.C.I.     |                 |
|        |                  |after M.D. Medicine, or  |                 |
|        |                  |M.B.B.S. and 5 years     |                 |
|        |                  |direct course leading to |                 |
|        |                  |D.M. Gastro-enterology.  |                 |
|25      |Theoracic Surgery |M.Ch.C.T.S. 2/3 years    |_                |
|        |                  |course as recognized by  |                 |
|        |                  |M.C.I. after M.S.        |                 |
|        |                  |Surgery, or M.B.B.S. and |                 |
|        |                  |5 years direct course    |                 |
|        |                  |leading to M.Ch. C.T.S.  |                 |
|26.     |Urology           |M.Ch. Urology 2/3 years  |       _         |
|        |                  |course as recognized by  |                 |
|        |                  |M.C.I. after M.S.        |                 |
|        |                  |Surgery, or M.B.B.S. and |                 |
|        |                  |5 years direct course    |                 |
|        |                  |leading to M.Ch. Urology |                 |
|31      |Nephrology        |D.M. Nephrology 2/3 years|_                |
|        |                  |course as recognized by  |                 |
|        |                  |M.C.I. after M.D.        |                 |
|        |                  |Medicine, or M.B.B.S. and|                 |
|        |                  |5 years direct course    |                 |
|        |                  |leading to D.M.          |                 |
|        |                  |Nephrology               |                 |
|32.     |Neo-Natology      |D.M. Neo-Natology 2/3    |_                |
|        |                  |years course as          |                 |
|        |                  |recognized by M.C.I.     |                 |
|        |                  |after M.D. Medicine, or  |                 |
|        |                  |M.B.B.S. and 5 years     |                 |
|        |                  |direct course leading to |                 |
|        |                  |D.M. Neo-Natology.       |                 |
|33.     |Paediatric Surgery|M.Ch.Paediatric Surgery  |   _             |
|        |                  |2/3 years course as      |                 |
|        |                  |recognized by M.C.I.     |                 |
|        |                  |after M.S. Surgery, or   |                 |
|        |                  |M.B.B.S. and 5 years     |                 |
|        |                  |direct course leading to |                 |
|        |                  |M.Ch.Paediatric Surgery. |                 |
|34.     |Neuro-Surgery     |M.Ch.Neuro Surgery 2/3   |_                |
|        |                  |years course as          |                 |
|        |                  |recognized by M.C.I.     |                 |
|        |                  |after M.S. Surgery, or   |                 |
|        |                  |M.B.B.S. and 5 years     |                 |
|        |                  |direct course leading to |                 |
|        |                  |M.Ch. Neuro Surgery.     |                 |
|35.     |Plastic Surgery   |M.Ch.Plastic Surgery 2/3 |_                |
|        |                  |years course as          |                 |
|        |                  |recognized by M.C.I.     |                 |
|        |                  |after M.S. Surgery, or   |                 |
|        |                  |M.B.B.S. and 5 years     |                 |
|        |                  |direct course leading to |                 |
|        |                  |M.Ch. Plastic Surgery.   |                 |
|36.     |Surgical          |M.Ch.Surgical            |_                |
|        |Gastro-Enterology |Gastro-enterology 2/3    |                 |
|        |                  |years course as          |                 |
|        |                  |recognized by M.C.I.     |                 |
|        |                  |after M.S. Surgery or    |                 |
|        |                  |M.B.B.S. and 5 years     |                 |
|        |                  |direct course leading to |                 |
|        |                  |M.Ch. Gastro-Enterology. |                 |


13.   It is quite clear from a perusal of the above chart  that  except  the
post graduation degrees specified therein the Service Rules  merely  require
a recognized post graduate degree for meeting the eligibility criteria.

14.   Learned counsel for Dr.  Kaundal  submitted  that  if  the  appeal  is
dismissed, rights that have accrued or vested in his client,  including  his
seniority over Dr. Gupta, will be disturbed and  this  is  not  permissible.
The submission is stated only to be rejected.    In view of  the  fact  that
Dr. Gupta was wrongly not considered for promotion to the post of  Assistant
Professor in Pharmacology, he deserves to be now  considered  and  if  found
suitable,  entitled to all consequential benefits.  In this context, we  may
note that the State of Himachal Pradesh has not challenged the  decision  of
the High Court directing reconsideration.

15.   It was also contended that the post graduation degree obtained by  Dr.
Gupta was subsequently recognized by the MCI by  a  Notification  issued  in
2004 and that the Notification would not have retrospective effect so as  to
make Dr. Gupta  eligible  for  consideration  for  promotion.    It  is  not
necessary for us to deal with this contention since we have  held  that  Dr.
Gupta’s post graduation degree did not require any recognition by the MCI.

16.   Finally, it was contended that if Dr. Gupta is promoted  it  would  be
contrary to the Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical  Institutions
Regulations, 1998.  This submission was not  made  by  Dr.  Kaundal  at  any
point of time and was only raised in passing by his learned counsel  in  his
rejoinder submissions.  We are not inclined to entertain this submission  at
this stage.

17.   We find no merit in this appeal and it is accordingly dismissed.



                                                               …………………………….J
                                                     (Ranjana Prakash Desai)






                                                               …………………………….J
                                                            (Madan B. Lokur)

New Delhi;
February 11, 2014




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