SC: Medical Council has no power to make any reservation for in-service candidates

By Weindrila Sen

The Constitutional Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, MR Shah, Vineet Saran, and Aniruddha Bose, held that Medical Council of India has no power to make any reservation for Post-Graduation Medical Course for any in-service candidates. The Bench observed that the Medical Council of India comes under the Entry 66 of List 1, which makes there laying down of standards limited. The bench further stated that the act of providing reservation for in-service candidates in PG Medical Courses are ultra vires to the Medical Council of India Act.

The Tamil Nadu Medical Officer’s Association and others had filed a write petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court challenging Regulation 9(4) and (8) of the PG Medical Education Regulations, 2000. The case was referred to a larger bench from the three-judge bench. The three-judge bench noted that “the coordination and determination of standards in institutions for higher education” is within the exclusive domain of the Union, medical education under Entry 25, List III, though made subject to Entry 66 of List I is an Entry in the Concurrent List. The Bench further observed that the state has no authority to give reservation to in-service candidates to PG courses.

Justice Kurian Joseph, head of the bench observed: “We are of the view that Dinesh Singh Chauhan (supra), has not considered the legislative Entries in respect of the contentions 10 we gave noted above. Apparently, it appears no such contentions were raised before the Court. Same is the situation with regards to the non-reference with respect to the three Constitution Bench decisions we have referred to above. As far as Modern Dental (supra) is concerned, perhaps the judgment had not been published by the time the judgment in Dinesh Singh Chauhan (supra) was rendered.”

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