Bond Service Postings must be given within 3 months of Passing final Exam: HC relief to Doctor, directs Medical College to return documents

Jabalpur: Directing Indore-based Mahatma Gandhi Medical College to return the original documents of a doctor, the Jabalpur bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court recently implied that if the bond service postings are not given within three months from the passing of the final exam, the conditions mentioned in the bond will be treated as infructuous.

Such an observation has been provided by the HC bench comprising of Justice Sujoy Paul, as it referred to Rule 11 of Madhya Pradesh Medical and Dental Post Graduate Course (Degree/Diploma) Admission Rules, 2015 and clarified, “So far bond conditions are concerned, a plain reading of Rule 11 makes it clear that if appointment order is not issued to the successful candidates within three months, the bond conditions will be treated to be cancelled.”

Resultantly, respondents are bound to return his original educational qualification documents to the petitioner. The same shall be returned within 45 days’ from the date of production of copy of this order,” ordered the bench.
Similar observations had been made by the Madhya Pradesh High Court previously as well. Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the MP High Court bench had earlier clarified that the rural service bond, which ensures that doctors serve the rural areas after the completion of the UG or PG medical courses, becomes ineffective if the doctors are not given postings within a stipulated time frame.

The present case concerned the petitioner doctor, who passed her Post Graduation final year examination on 31.12.2018. As the doctor had executed a bond while taking admission for the PG course at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Indore, she was issued with a posting order on 07.09.2018.

However, the doctor alleged that the authorities issued her posting order three months before the completion of her PG course, when she was not entitled to be
posted/appointed. Therefore, the doctor did not join services on the basis of the order issued on 07.09.2018.

Also Read: Bond service ineffective if rural postings not given within stipulated time: HC

The doctor pointed out that as per Rule 11 of Madhya Pradesh Medical and Dental Post
Graduate Course (Degree/Diploma) Admission Rules, 2015 (Admission Rules), the Dean of the concerned Educational Institution was
required to furnish a list of successful Post Graduate candidates to
Commissioner, Health Services. In turn, said Commissioner was required to issue appointment orders to such successful candidates within
three months after declaration of results, failing which, bond filed by the
candidate will be treated to be cancelled as a fiction.

Referring to this she contended that after passing of examination, at no point of time, any appointment order was ever issued to her. Thus, Rule 11 could not be translated into reality from the date petitioner
passed the Post Graduate Examination. However, the petitioner doctor alleged that the college authorities have withheld her original educational qualification documents demanding compliance of the bond conditions.

When the petitioner doctor reached the High Court bench, the Deputy Advocate General contended that as per
Rule 11 of Admission Rules, it is the Dean of the concerned institution
who was required to send the list of successful candidates to the
Directorate/Commissioner. Upon receiving such list only the
Commissioner was obliged to issue appointment orders within three
months. Thus, starting point to calculate the period of three months is the
date when the list was sent by the Dean to the Commissioner. Since the Dean never sent the list the State is still free to apply the bond conditions.

The bench noted that the pivotal question concerning the case was the fact if the petitioner who was given posting order on 07.09.2018 before passing the Post Graduate final year examination is entitled to get relaxation
from bond conditions and further entitled to get back his original
educational qualification documents from the respondents ?

After perusing the matter and the arguments by both the parties, the HC bench noted that if there is no time frame for the Dean to send the entire procedure will depend upon the whims and fancies of the Dean.

“The purpose, object and intention while inserting Rule 11 is to see
that the Dean will send the list of successful candidates to the
Commissioner. Although, no period of limitation for sending that list is
prescribed in Rule 11 of Admission Rules. If it is read in the manner
suggested by the Government counsel, it will give an unfettered and
unlimited period to the Dean to send the list as per his whims and fancies,” noted the bench.

“In our opinion, the purpose of Rule 11 is to ensure that soon after the candidate has passed, the Dean must send the list of successful candidates
to the Commissioner, and in turn, the Commissioner will appoint them
within 3 months therefrom,” the bench further observed.

Further discussing the purpose of inserting Rule 11, the bench noted,

“Ordinarily, a candidate would like to serve the State in rural,
difficult, and remote areas immediately after completion of his or her
educational qualification. If it is not implemented forthwith, the candidate
is bound to take services somewhere else. For this purpose, three months
period is prescribed in Rule 11 to ensure that appointment order is issued
with quite promptitude. Any other interpretation will create serious
hardship to the candidates and candidates who have joined elsewhere and
worked for many years may be required to serve the state government
department as per bond condition by leaving their suitable job. This can’t
be the purpose of inserting Rule 11.”

Referring to the case of the petitioner doctor, the HC bench observed, “Indisputably, the petitioner was appointed/posted much before he
passed the Post Graduate course. Thus, such appointment dated
07.09.2018 is not in consonance with Rule 11 and petitioner’s non-joining
will not create any right in favour of the State.”
At this outset, the Government Counsel laid emphasis on following
expression mentioned in Rule 11 “however, such Doctors will have to
work under the State Government as directed”. He argued that even if bond conditions are not binding on the petitioner, he is bound to serve the
State Government as per the highlighted portion.
However, referring to the recent HC order in the case of Dr. Rahul Mittal vs. State of Madhya Pradesh &
others, the bench noted,

“So far bond conditions are concerned, a plain reading of Rule 11
makes it clear that if appointment order is not issued to the successful
candidates within three months, the bond conditions will be treated to be
cancelled.””Pertinently, in the case of Dr. Rahul Mittal (supra), no
appointment order was ever issued to the said candidate/petitioner, who
had passed the relevant course at relevant point of time. The only
difference in the present case is that although a posting order was issued
to the petitioner on 07/09/2018 (Annexure P/9), the said
appointment/posting order was not in accordance with Rule 11 because it
was issued before completion of petitioner’s qualification. Thereafter,
admittedly no fresh appointment order or modified order was passed.
Thus, in view of Deeming clause of Rule 11 and as per the order passed
by this Court in Dr. Rahul Mittal (supra), bond conditions cannot be
enforced against the petitioner,” read the judgment.

Therefore, directing MGMC Indore to return the original documents within 45 days, the bench ordered, “Resultantly, respondents are bound to return his original
educational qualification documents to the petitioner. The same shall be
returned within 45 days’ from the date of production of copy of this order.”

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