SC issues notice to Karnataka Medical Council, state gov't on compulsory rural duty bond

"It (SC) has also ensured that the affidavits will be cancelled in case the court finds that this policy has been applied illegally and has no basis in law," said a KMC Manipal student. on the condition of anonymity
To recall, this case traces back to an appeal by MBBS students from the 2018 batch at KMC Manipal
Update on the case(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Today, May 22, the Supreme Court's vacation bench has addressed the case involving the compulsory rural duty bond imposed on private college students, specifically Kasturba Medical College (KMC) Manipal. 

The counsel, advocating on behalf of students, argued that since they paid higher fees and did not receive state subsidies, they should not be forced to sign a one-year compulsory rural duty bond to obtain a necessary No Objection Certificate (NOC) for further studies.

"The Supreme Court, acknowledging our arguments, has issued a notice to the Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) and the Government of Karnataka. The case will proceed with the next hearing, where these respondents will provide their clarifications," states a statement forwarded by the students. 

During the hearing, the Supreme Court suggested that students could sign the bond and obtain the NOC, which can be challenged subsequently. Importantly, as the matter is now pending before the Supreme Court, no student can be compelled to comply with the compulsory duty at this stage. The next hearing date is yet to be announced. 

"Looking at the precedent set in the past, the Supreme Court decided that the case needs to be heard in greater detail and the court has asked the student to take their registrations and assign the affidavits. It has also ensured that the affidavits will be cancelled in case the court finds that this policy has been applied illegally and has no basis in law," said a KMC Manipal student, on the condition of anonymity. 

To recall, this case traces back to an appeal by MBBS students from the 2018 batch at KMC Manipal, who approached the Karnataka High Court against the state authorities for imposing a compulsory rural bond service on the students. 

The crux of the students' argument lies in the allegation that they were not informed about the bond requirement at the time of their admission to the MBBS course. Now, they are being asked to sign an affidavit committing to one year of compulsory rural service and to submit a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the Bond Enforcement Cell at Arogya Soudha, under the Karnataka State Government.

According to this affidavit, the students must serve in a government institute for one year. If they choose not to discharge their obligation of compulsory rural service, they would have to pay a penalty of Rs 15 to Rs 30 lakh to the government. Students allege that the bond is being illegally imposed. 

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