Jayalalithaa replies to criticism of non-application of rule of reservation

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday sought to defuse the controversy over the decision to recruit doctors for the proposed multi super-specialty hospital in Chennai, stating that appointments would be made on the basis of the Supreme Court judgment in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India, existing rules and precedents.

In a rejoinder to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi’s criticism of non-application of the rule of reservation in recruitment of doctors for the hospital to be located on Omandurar Government Estate here,

Ms. Jayalalithaa said medical staff would be appointed through redeployment as well as on contract basis. Doctors to be redeployed were originally appointed following the reservation rule.

Appointment of doctors on contract basis would be done under the Rule 11 of the Tamil Nadu State and Subordinate Services Rules. Therefore, reservation would not be applicable in their case.

She pointed out that last July, the Supreme Court, in the Faculty Association of AIIMS vs Union Of India & Ors case, stuck to its position taken in the Indra Sawhney vs Union of India case, wherein the court held that “in certain services in respect of certain posts, application of rule of reservation may not be advisable in regard to various technical posts, including posts in super specialty in medicine, engineering and other scientific and technical posts.” A review petition, filed by the Union government in the Supreme Court against this order, had not yet been taken up.

She pointed out that the DMK government during 2006-2011 appointed more than 540 doctors and medical staff on contract basis without following the rule of reservation.

They were hired under programmes of the Tamil Nadu AIDS Control Society, Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project and the State Health Society programme.

Ms. Jayalalithaa argued that the Supreme Court’s judgment could be changed only by amending the Constitution.

But, the present Union government, which was making efforts to conduct a common entrance examination for medical courses in violation of the principle of reservation, would not bring in Constitutional amendments.

She expressed the hope that when a government at the Centre, that would implement policies of her party, is formed after May 2014, action would be taken for the proposed Constitutional amendments.

Referring to the appointment of 4,361 doctors on the time scale of pay after her government took over in May 2011, she said the rule of reservation was completely followed.

In the appointment of school teachers too, 69 per cent reservation was followed.

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