STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A Division Bench (DB) of State High Court comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur on Friday upheld the judgment of Writ Court whereby it has observed that NRHM doctors are eligible for the benefits of Regulation 9 of MCI regulations 2000, which provides that a doctor who has served in difficult/remote areas shall be entitled to 10 per cent additional marks for each completed year of service.
The DB ruling came in a LPA filed by State against the aforesaid judgment of the Writ Court.
Jehangir Iqbal Ganai, Advocate General with Ashish Singh Kotwal, Dy. AG appeared for the State, and Sunil Sethi, Senior Advocate with Waheed Chowdhary Advocate for the appellants while Advocate Abhinav Sharma, Z.A Shah, Senior Advocate with Vipan Gandotra, Advocate, K.S Johal, Senior Advocate with Javed Iqbal Balwan, Advocate represented the respondents.
Division Bench observed that during the course of the submissions it is stated at the Bar that after the ad-interim order passed by this Court on 3rd May 2017, the appellants have held the counselling and have prepared the provisional merit list, which has been made subject to outcome of this LPA. In view of preceding analysis, Division Bench directed the appellants herein to grant the benefit of Regulation 9 of the Regulations to the Medical Officers who have served in difficult areas as defined in SRO 201 of 2006 and to redraw the merit list and thereafter to hold fresh counselling and to allot the seats. DB further said that the aforesaid process be completed on or before 31st May, 2017 as per the time schedule fixed by the Supreme Court.
Division Bench observed that it is an admitted fact that the State Government has not defined difficult and remote areas. However, from close scrutiny of the Proviso to Regulation 9 of the Regulations it is axiomatic that though the power has been given to the State Government/Competent Authority to define remote and difficult areas yet there is no requirement to issue a Notification under the Proviso to Regulation 9 of the MCI Regulations. In the considered opinion of this Court, the expression “defined” used in the Regulations with regard to difficult and remote areas has been made only with the purpose of brining to the notice of the public that Doctors serving in remote and difficult areas shall be entitled to benefit of additional marks by way of incentive as provided in Regulation 9 of the Regulations. Admittedly the State Government even prior to amendment of Regulation 9 of the Regulations in the year 2012 by virtue of enactment of SRO 401 dated 29th December 2009 has granted the benefit to the Medical Officers who have served in difficult areas. In other words, the State Government has identified the difficult and remote areas, which is also discernible from SRO 201 of 2006.
DB further observed that besides that, the State Health Society of National Rural Health Mission has identified remote, inaccessible, very difficult and difficult areas in the State of Jammu and Kashmir with a view to ensure availability of Doctors in the aforesaid areas, which have been mentioned in operation guidelines for the year 2013-2014 issued by the Director Health Services, Kashmir. The aforesaid document has been produced on behalf of the respondents and the same is taken on record as its authenticity beyond any pale of doubt. In the result, we hold that Regulation 9 of the Regulations would apply in respect of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test held this year.
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