NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the Medical Council of India (MCI) is not empowered to make regulations on reservation for in-service candidates for admission to post-graduate medical courses.
A five-judge bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, held that the MCI is a statutory body whose purpose is to regulate medical education and profession, but the right to provide reservation in admissions rests with the respective state governments.
“States can frame regulations for separate entry for such in-service candidates. Such doctors, who are already working, should, however, be mandated to serve in rural and tribal areas for five years,” the bench ruled. It held that the MCI regulation that barred such reservation was “unconstitutional and arbitrary”.
The apex court then directed the states to formulate a scheme for rural and remote service by in-service doctors after completing their postgraduate degree.
The court was responding to a plea by doctors from Kerala, Maharashtra and Haryana saying, granting reservation benefits would encourage those working in government hospitals and in rural areas.