Rural service bond policy case: Karnataka HC grants relief to 447 medicos

The court granted liberty to the state government to bring in any circular or corrigendum or even a law in tune with the rule now gazetted
Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court (Pic: Express)

In what comes as a huge relief to as many as 447 medical graduates, the Karnataka High Court has ruled that they need not undertake the one year compulsory rural service as per the bond signed by them.

This is because the law enacted in 2012 was not published in the official gazette till July 2022, stated a report by The New Indian Express.

The petitioners, who wrote the Common Entrance Test (CET) in the year 2015 and joined MBBS courses, challenged the notification issued on June 8, 2021, which mandated that every MBBS candidate under the government quota, who graduated in 2021, have to undergo the compulsory rural service and execute a bond to that effect.

After the notification in question was issued, the state government issued a corrigendum on June 17, 2021, directing the candidates who get admitted to MBBS courses under the government quota to do the rural service, failing which, they have to pay a fine of not less than Rs 15 lakh which may extend up to Rs 30 lakh, after completing their courses. The corrigendum, however, was published in gazette in 2022.

The corrigendum was quashed for 447 petitioners since the government in 2012 notified the amended rules to impose a penalty but it was published in the official gazette in 2022, a decade after the rules were amended.

However, the court granted liberty to the state government to bring in any circular or corrigendum or even a law in tune with the rule now gazetted.

"The state appears to have been in deep slumber or having a siesta for 10 years," said Justice M Nagaprasanna while partly allowing the petition filed in 2021 and 2022 by the students, questioning the legislation and the corrigendum.

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