[NEET PG-2021] Supreme Court dismisses plea challenging reservation to in-service doctors in West Bengal

  • Gautam Mishra
  • 05:37 PM, 03 Dec 2021

The Supreme Court on Friday has dismissed a Public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the West Bengal government's decision to provide reservation quota for in-service doctors in the post-graduate medical, dental, and post-doctoral medical counseling in government and private colleges from the state quota seats. 

A bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai orally observed that, "If they have the powers then why should we interfere."

The petition had been filed by MBBS doctors seeking direction for quashing the notice which provides for 40% reservation for in-service medical/ dental officers and for commencing the state counselling without the additional 40% reservation.

Senior Advocate Sonia Mathur appearing for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is seeking direction for not implementing the concerned quota.

Mathur further submitted that the petitioner is only seeking for non-implementation of the in-service quota for this year.

"I am not assailing the competence of the state legislature," Mathur added.

The plea has challenged the notice dated October 8 issued by West Bengal, Department of Health and Family Welfare titled, "Notification regarding provision of in-service quota in post graduate medical and dental and post-doctoral medical counselling for state quota seats in government/private colleges, for such courses, in West Bengal."

The plea has alleged that it is unlawful deprivation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners, stating that, "The added 40% reservation for the in-service category is in sheer disregard to the fundamental rights of the petitioners and similarly placed candidates." 

The plea has further sought direction to the state to specify the basis on which the 40% reservation was arrived at.

The PIL also said that the state should "omit the implementation of 40% reservation and instead provide an incentive at the rate of 10% of the marks obtained for each year in-service, in remote areas, up to the maximum of 30% of the marks obtained." 

Cause Title: Sugata Bhattacharjee and Ors. Vs. Department of Health and Family Welfare Government of West Bengal and Ors