Doctors move court against MCI’s age cap on asst prof posts
Asks it to wake up from ‘Kumbakarnan sleep’ and follow the directives
THE Madras High Court has slammed the Tamil Nadu government for 17-year delay in framing ad hoc rules after it took a policy decision to rationalise the service of local library authorities and to bring them into one single unit.
A division bench of Justices K K Sasidharan and R Subramanian said, “The decision was taken by the government as early as December 11, 1989. But the ad hoc rules were framed only in 2006, nearly after a lapse of 17 years.”
This exhibits the callous indifference shown by officials of the State. In 1995, the State Administrative Tribunal had observed that the framing of the rules should not be unduly delayed. It had specifically observed that administrative decisions which involve change in service rules should be followed up by necessary changes by way of amendment without any unduly delay, the bench pointed out.
The Madras high court observed that it is high time for the State to wake up from ‘Kumbakarnan sleep’ and follow court directives without any further delay while pulling up the officials of Tamil Nadu government for their ‘callous’ attitude in making administrative decisions, leading to long-drawn litigations and waste of judicial time.
The judges made the observation on a batch of appeals challenging a government order issued by the school education department on January 12, 2015 and a consequential order of the director of public libraries dated January 13, 2015 by which the petitioners who were appointed through direct recruitment were reverted from the posts of district library officers. The appointments were made during 2002 to 2005.
Allowing the appeals, the bench said, “Once it is found that the appellants appointment was pursuant to direct recruitment, they cannot be reverted to a lower rank…”
“Despite the direction, the government has taken 17 years for framing rules, because of which the appellants had been running from pillar to post right from 2007 to till date. We are pained at the attitude of the state machinery in not even framing the Adhoc Rules for 17 years. In our considered opinion, this failure on the part of the state to do its duty has led to this long-drawn litigation resulting in waste of court hours on trivial issue of promotions and seniority,” the court said. THE amendment to Medical Institutions Regulations, prescribing 40-year as upper age limit for appointment as senior resident/assistant professor in government-run medical institutions by Medical Council of India, has been opposed by a section of doctors who have moved the Madras High Court terming it “unconstitutional, ultra vires, discriminatory and illegal”.
The high court has ordered notice to Medical Council of India (MCI) on the public interest litigation seeking interim injunction restraining Clause 6 of Schedule -I of amended Minimum Qualification for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998 and declare restriction imposed by MCI fixing 40-years as upper age limit for appointment to the post of senior resident/assistant professor in government run medical Institutions as illegal.
A division bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramanioum Prasad adjourned the hearing to September 19. According to petitioners, MCI amended the Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998 with effect from June 8, 2017 prescribing 40-years as upper age limit for appointment as senior resident in medical institutions. “Any such prescription of age limit for a government doctor in medical service for appointment to the post of senior resident in teaching medical institutions would be against the object sought to be achieved under the provisions of Indian Medical Association Act and Minimum Qualification for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998, petitioners submitted.
When post graduation is a necessary qualification for posts of senior Resident or Assistant professor, any such restriction will lead to lack of requisite number of faculty, the petitioners said.