Certificate retention issue: Keeping PG doctors idle a crime, says HC

Justice R Subramaniam made the observation stressing to the government that the PG/super speciality doctors should be allowed to work either in a government facility or private hospital.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: Cracking whip against the retention of certificates of PG doctors despite completion of the bond period, the Madras High Court observed, “Being doctors, holding super speciality degrees and post graduate degrees, forcing them to be idle is a crime.”

Justice R Subramaniam made the observation stressing to the government that the PG/super speciality doctors should be allowed to work either in a government facility or private hospital.

“I’m alive to the fact that the government spends a lot of money in medical education particularly, in post-graduate education, on the students. While justifying the action of the government in obtaining the bond, retention of certificates and preventing these post graduates from working in other hospitals for two-year period without giving them employment is avoidable,” Justice R Subramaniam ruled.

Justice R Subramanian passed the direction on disposing of a batch of petitions filed by PG doctors Dharan Munusamy, V Shilpa, Bagwan Afroj, Verma Anilkumar, R Deepak Kumar, and Tanmay Pareek.

According to the petitioners, they joined PG/super speciality courses by executing a bond to serve in the government facility for a period of two years on completion of the course. Gvernment also obtained their original certificates, thereby making it impossible for them to work elsewhere.

Recording submissions, the judge held the question as to the right of the government to retain the certificates of these medical graduates is no longer res-integra. Justice Subramanian pointed out that the HC had on several occasions reiterated that the retention of certificates was incorrect.

The judge pointed out an order of a division bench in a writ appeal on October 6 ruling the bond period is coterminous with the candidates concerned, therefore once the bond period is over i.e. the two years as the case may be if it is over within which if no offer of employment is given to whatever reason by the respondents, then the candidates cannot be clutched for any further period. The judge recalled the bench’s ruling that PG doctors are entitled to get back their certificates and free to join other organisation or go for higher studies.

“If the bond period is not completed, even though the petitioners are ready and willing to work since there has been no offer given as of now by the respondents, the petitioners cannot be clutched and cannot be kept idle,” the order reads which was highlighted by Subramanian.

V Shilpa, who completed her PG course in May 2021, is yet to get the job offer from the government. Since the government withheld all her original certificates, she could not serve as a doctor anywhere. Since 19 months in the bond period have gone by, even if she is called by the government, she can work for five months only.

The case of doctors Dharan Munusamy and Deepak Kumar is different since they have been successful in securing a seat in super speciality courses conducted by the National Board of Examination in Medical Sciences. As their original certificates are with the government, these two petitioners are unable to join the said courses. Dharan and Deepak completed their PG medical degree in May 2022.

Tanmay Pareek, Verma Anilkumar, and Bagwan Afroj completed PG in August 2021 and neither got any job nor were able to obtain their certificates. Therefore, the judge held that V Shilpa, Tanmay Pareek, Verma Anilkumar, and Bagwan Afroj, who completed PG in 2021, are entitled to get their certificates back upon executing the undertaking that they will make themselves available as and when required by the government to complete the service for the remaining bond period.

In the cases of Deepak and Dharan, the judge wanted them to file an affidavit of the undertaking, agreeing to serve the government for the remaining bond period after completion of the super speciality course and they shall also inform the government as and when they complete the super speciality courses.

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