Unable to Interfere with Deadline in Section 226 Jurisdiction Unless Fixed for Fanciful/Bad Faith Considerations: Rajasthan High Court

The High Court of Rajasthan observed that the fact that the Courts of Writs under Section 226 of the Constitution cannot interfere in every decision that is taken administratively and setting a deadline, shall be beyond the jurisdiction of a court of writs until the same is fixed bearing in mind the fanciful considerations or fixed in bad faith

Judge Ashok Kumar Gaur ruled,

“This Court finds that the Courts of Writs, under Section 226 of the Constitution, cannot interfere in any decision made on the administrative level and the setting of a deadline, shall be beyond the jurisdiction of a court of writs until the same is either fixed with fanciful considerations in mind or dishonestly fixed.”

The court observed that the state government concluded that providing services in remote, difficult and rural areas qualifies for certain incentives/bonuses, then the decision of the state government, in its wisdom and as as a policy, to confer such benefits until a particular date cannot be called fanciful or dishonest.

context

In the present case, the applicants being government doctors working in remote, difficult and rural areas, applied as in-service candidates for the 2021 NEET PG exam and they were all entitled to incentive marks for services rendered by them in remote, difficult and rural areas. rural areas.

Subsequently, the state government decided to take into account the experience of doctors in service until 30.09.2021 for the purpose of awarding bonus points when admitting postgraduate medical courses. Feeling aggrieved, the applicants contested the letter/order of 08.01.2022.

Results

The court held that the fixing of a deadline may, in a given case, cause difficulties for a candidate or a group of candidates, but this does not in itself lead to the conclusion that such a fixing of a date -even is arbitrary.

The court added that any deadline, which is set by the state government, will always affect some of the applicants, but at the same time, the setting of the deadline, if it has an inherent degree of randomness, causing difficulties to a certain group of candidates, this cannot be a reason for declaring such a date as arbitrary.

The court referred Dr. Delip Singh v. State of Rajasthanwhich was later confirmed by the division bench in Dr. Neha Choudhary v. State of Rajasthanin which this court endorsed the power of the state government to make a conscious decision to set a deadline, bearing in mind relevant considerations and factors.

Read also : Rajasthan HC rejects doctors’ appeal to move deadline to accommodate their service experience in PG medical courses

In addition, the court relied on GA Vishwajeet v. Indian Union, that the Madras High Court declined to intervene on the grounds that deadlines are not set according to individual demands made and authorities must consider a wide range of options and then make a decision. In addition, the court also relied on Ch. Arman Sindhu vs. union of indiawhere the Delhi High Court dismissed the grievance to extend the completion date of a mandatory one-year rotating residential internship beyond September 30, 2021 until October 31, 2021.

The court also dismissed the petitioners’ appeal to P. Mohanan Pillai v. State of Kerala (2007) and also on Kumari Shrilekha Vidyarthi v. State of UP (1991) of the Supreme Court. The court observed that such decisions must judge the fairness and reasonableness of the state’s actions.

Counsel for the plaintiffs argued that once the state government takes a stand by filing an affidavit on 04.01.2021, extending the date by issuing a notification dated 08.01.2022 is equivalent to half- turn and that the state government cannot be allowed to change its position.

He added that the state government failed to keep in mind the relevant consideration while changing the counting date of the experience because the freshman/MBBS category to complete their internship during the COVID-19 period until 30.09.2021 is completely different. foot and the same logic does not apply when it comes to dealing with petitioners.

On the other hand, counsel for the respondents argued that the question of extending the deadline from 30.04.2021 to 30.09.2021 is no longer res integrated as in Dr Neha Choudhary, the division bench not only upheld the order of Dr Delip Singh but also held that setting a date and granting an inducement is a matter of policy and depends on the discretionary exercise of state government powers. He further argued that the deadline set by the competent authority has a connection with the objective to be achieved, the valid classification is admissible and cannot be called arbitrary.

The lawyer representing the National Medical Commission argued that Regulation 9(IV) of the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 provides for this government merit in service. Doctors will be determined by the government as an incentive up to a maximum of 30% of scores obtained in NEET and remote/difficult/rural areas must be notified by the state government from time to time, he said. he argued.

Sr Adv. Mr.NKMaloo assisted by Adv. Abhimanyu Singh Yaduvanshi and Adv. Ram Pratap Saini appeared for the petitioners, while AAG Dr.Vibhuti Bhushan Sharma along with Adv. Harshal Tholia appeared for the Respondent State. Adv. Angad Mirdha appeared on behalf of the National Medical Commission.

Case title: Dr. Naveen Jakhar v. State of Rajasthan

Quote: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 46

Click here to read/download the order

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