Serve bond period or pay ₹50 lakh, HC tells doctor

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court observed that it was more than certain that authorities would adopt a uniform policy throughout the State when it came to recovery of bond amount, while disposing of a petition filed by a doctor who said he was not in a position to comply with the bond condition.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Sreejith V. Ravi of Kerala, who secured admission to Tirunelveli Medical College and Hospital to pursue DM Neurology course under the All India quota and executed a bond. He completed the course in September 2020.

As per the bond, he undertook to serve the State government for 10 years and in default he would have to pay ₹2 crore as damages. However, he was not in a position to comply with the bond condition. The Medical College Dean issued a communication in 2021 asking the petitioner to pay ₹2 crore.

The petitioner submitted his explanation to the authorities, who did not accept it. Therefore, he filed the petition. During the hearing, the State submitted that the petitioner was called for counselling for issuing postings in 2021. But, he did not participate in it.

Justice G.R. Swaminathan took note of a communication issued by the Secretary to the Health Department in 2020. The government reduced the bond duration for non-service candidates from 10 years to two years and the bond amount to ₹50 lakh. The communication was applicable in the present case, the judge said.

In a judgement, the Supreme Court had observed there was a need for uniformity in the matter pertaining to compulsory bond. It had suggested that suitable steps be taken by the Centre and the Medical Council of India to have a uniform policy regarding compulsory service by doctors trained in government institutions, the Judge said.

The State submitted a copy of an order issued by the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine appointing the petitioner as an Assistant Surgeon in Nagapattinam. The court observed that of course the petitioner would get a decent pay for rendering such service.

The petitioner was not willing to serve the bond period of two years. The court observed that the petitioner either had to serve the bond period or pay ₹50 lakh as fixed by the government, and disposed of the petition.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 5:55:20 pm |