Hyderabad: In a respite to postgraduate super speciality medical students, the Telangana High Court on Monday temporarily suspended a notification issued by the director of medical education that sought a monetary bond from students.
As per a GO (government order) issued on January 25 by the newly elected Congress government, the PG super-speciality medical students will have to pay a fine of Rs 50 lakh if they fail to report for the Compulsory Resident Specialist postings within three weeks.
This, according to the students, was not mentioned in the earlier GO.
The earlier GO mentioned that the PG super-speciality medical students were required to work for two years in a government or rural hospital after the completion of their course.
However, on January 25, a new government order by the newly elected Congress government started students who had completed and failed to appear within three weeks would have to pay a hefty fine of Rs 50 lakh.
Following this, a petition was filled at the Telangana High Court by 23 postgraduate students stating the new GO violates Articles 14,19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Article 14 of the Constitution of India states that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
Article 19 of the Constitution provides everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Article 21 of the Consitution states that no person shall be deprived of his/her/their life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law. In simple terms, Article 21 secures the Right to life and the Right to personal liberty.
On January 12, the director of medical education issued a notification stating that the students who had just completed their super-speciality post-graduate training must attend Compulsory Resident Specialist postings or pay a hefty fine of Rs 50 lakh.
Students move HC
Shocked by the new GO, 23 students approached the Telangana HC stating that this was the first time they were asked to pay a fine of Rs 50 lakh by signing bonds. Not adhering to it, will be a breach of contract of Section 15B in the Telangana Medical Practitioner Registration Act, 1968.
However, the students argued that while the Telangana Medical Practitioner Registration Act mentioned about two years of service in any government or rural hospital, it did not mention about the fine.
The state’s argument
On the other hand, the Government Pleader representing the State contended that the notification issued by the director was not itself challenged and besides, the students had already signed the bonds at the time of admission agreeing to the terms.
Telangana HC’s order
Considering both sides of the arguments, the Telangana High Court passed an interim suspension directing the 23 doctors to report on their said postings. However, the fine amount will not be imposed on them, the court said.