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The Supreme Court Monday ruled that Karnataka government doctors working in the rural areas of the state would get weightage for getting admission to post graduate courses and choosing the specialised medical discipline they want to pursue.

The hurdle in the way of rural doctors getting the specialised discipline of their choice was cleared after the vacation bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice A.K. Patnaik stayed the operation of the state high court verdict that had gone against them.

The apex court slammed both the in-service doctors working in government hospital in the cities as well as the state government for frequently changing its position vis-a-vis admission rules.

‘Government can’t change their stand midstream after the notification for admission to post graduate courses has been issued,’ Justice Lodha said, adding that there has to be ‘some consistency’ in government policy.

The court was referring to the April 5 Karnataka government order by which it sought to re-define the meaning of the in-service doctors. In-service doctors, by the said order, were only those who were in continuous service.

However, the earlier notification, issued prior to the notification for admission to the post-graduate courses, recognised all those who were working with the government medical services in whatever capacity, be it regular, ad-hoc or on contract, as ‘in-service’ doctors.

When K.V. Vishwanathan, appearing for non-rural regular doctors, described the April 5, 2010 order as ‘historic clarification’, Justice Patnaik said: ‘Historic for you and not for them (rural doctors)’.

Lodha termed the April 5 order ‘a waste paper, blank sheet and deserved to be thrown in the dustbin’.

Patnaik said: ‘You (doctors in cities) want to enjoy every good thing. Don’t want to go to rural areas. You have been enjoying best of everything.’

He said reference to the break in service of the rural doctors and their coming under the contract was of no consequence in their being similarly placed as other in service doctors for admission to post graduate courses

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