The Supreme Court issued notices to the Medical Council of India (MCI) and state government on Thursday asking them to reply to a plea filed by non-service doctors over incentive marks granted to in-service doctors applying for post-graduate courses through NEET 2017.
The non-service doctors had moved SC after the state government released a combined merit list for counseling in which only one non-service candidate made it to the top 200 ranks.
While the bench of justices Dipak Misra and M M Shantanagoudar, who heard the plea, refused to stay the process of counselling in the state, the case is set to be heard again on April 17.
“The counselling process will go on. However, admissions will be subject to the outcome of this petition,” the SC said.
An MBBS doctor, Amit Bagra, had filed the plea along with others who come under the non-service category. They challenged the high court order of April 7 which awarded incentive marks to in-service doctors applying for post-graduate medical courses in the state.
“The process of counselling is continuing. We have informed the court about it. However, the court refused to stay the process. The allotment of specialties for post-graduation courses will begin on April 16,” Bagra said.
In their appeal, the lawyer appearing for non-service doctors, Sahir Hussain, alleged that the state government had issued the order in favour of in-service doctors without defining remote and difficult areas.
As per the initial order issued on March 20, in-service doctors working in remote areas would be eligible for 10% of the total marks they secure in NEET as incentive marks.
Later, this order was quashed by Rajasthan High Court’s double bench on April 7 while hearing an appeal filed by in-service candidates who demanded incentives of 10%, 20% and 30%, respectively, depending on the duration of service (one, two and three years).
Based on the high court order of April 7, the state government prepared a combined merit list of candidates for counselling for PG courses.
In the combined merit list prepared by the state government, in-service candidates took all the top 200 ranks except one.
Non-service candidates then moved SC. However, as per the MCI regulation of February 15, 2012, discretionary powers have been given to the state government/competent authority to award incentive marks to in-service candidates working in notified remote areas.