Supreme Court calls for Uniformity in bond amount for vacating medical seats, details

New Delhi: While considering a plea by a PG medical aspirant who had challenged the huge amount of security bond for vacating the seat, the Supreme Court on Thursday suggested that there should be a uniform security bond amount across the States.

Although the top court bench comprising of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice J.B. Pardiwala denied to grant any relief to the concerned student, it noted that the students who join the medical courses often come from humble middle class backgrounds and therefore, there should be uniformity regarding the bond amount for vacating the seats.

The concerned Postgraduate medical aspirant had appeared in National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET-PG) Examination last year and on the basis of her rank she had joined a college in the last academic year by submitting all her original documents.

At the time of admission, the student had also signed a security bond promising to pay Rs 30 lakh in case she vacated the seat. Later, the student re-appeared for NEET-PG Examination and improved her score. However, in order to join the course and participate in the counselling process, the student needs to vacate her seat and obtain her original documents by paying Rs 30 lakh bond amount.

Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that claiming the bond amount to be exorbitant, the doctor had approached the Jabalpur bench of MP High Court with a prayer to reduce the bond amount from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. However, while considering the matter, the Jabalpur bench of High Court had dismissed her plea on August 29.

After considering the matter, the HC bench had ruled, “The bond has been filled by the petitioner which is reflected from seat leaving bond wherein the condition was clear that in case of petitioner obtained to leave despite execution of bond she is required to deposit ₹30 lakh.”

Also Read: Rs 30 lakh bond penalty too much, says Supreme Court on NEET PG candidate’s plea, seeks NMC response

Following this, the doctor approached the Supreme Court bench and pointed out that the bond amount was too much when compared to the entire course fees of around Rs 3.75 lakhs. 

Previously while considering the matter, even the top court bench had opined the amount to be “too much” and had sought the National Medical Commission’s opinion in this regard.

As per the latest media report by Live Law, during the hearing of the case on Thursday, when the CJI asked the counsel for college and State why the bond amount was as high as Rs 30 lakhs, the counsel responded by saying, “It depends on the cost of living of the particular State and other factors….I will put it this way, INR 30 lakhs is less. The fee is less because it is Government college, the rest of the amount comes from the taxpayers’ money.”

Further, the counsel informed the bench that the bond amount had been fixed in accordance with the concerned statute of the State. In this regard, the counsel submitted, “Seats are scarce. The entire infrastructure is not utilised for the whole course, a student loses out on a seat and the country on a specialised doctor.”

Similar opinion was expressed by the NMC Counsel Advocate Gaurav Sharma as well. Advocate Sharma submitted that the seats in Government Medical Colleges are national assets and that’s why those seats should not go wasted.

Therefore, taking note of all these arguments, the CJI observed that it was justified on the part of the State Governments for imposing the bond conditions to deter the students from jumping ships. Refusing to interfere with the matter, the bench clarified that the bond condition had been imposed in accordance with statutory and not administrative rules and the rules had not been challenged by the student.

Further noting that the student had consciously submitted the original documents and signed the security bond, CJI Chandrachud observed that the State Government creates infrastructure for the seats in the government medical colleges and therefore, it would expect optimal utilisation of the same.

At this outset, he opined, “If we allow this, students will jump ships and it would be absolute chaos.”

However, opining that the security bond amount could be uniform across the states, the CJI further asked, “Only thing is that most of the students are from middle class. Technically State can say 50 lakhs also …These are humble students, we are not condoning her conduct, but should not there be uniform amount across States?”

Also Read: MBBS fee cannot be enhanced without AFRC recommendations: SC

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