The Delhi High Court recently ordered two hospitals to give study leave to its physicians who were selected to pursue DNB courses in other institutions after passing NEET PG 2020, as well as award them with relieving orders, without further delay.
This follows the High Court’s observation that the involved hospitals had previously given NOCs to the physicians and said that they had no objections to the doctors undertaking postgraduate studies.
The appellants would be pursuing further education and credentials. The court went on to say, “We find no reason why the relevant Hospitals should further postpone the issuance of study leave to the Appellants.”
According to Live Law, the High Court bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh orally stated that doctors should not be forced to go from pillar to post in order to get NOCs and other permits.
The appellants were employed as Medical Officers at several hospitals at the time of the case. They had taken the NEET-PG 2020 test for sponsored DNB seats, and the hospitals had informed them that they had no objections to the physicians taking the NEET exam, and that the grant of study leave would be completed once they were selected in the NEET PG 2020 examination. Their respective hospitals afterwards awarded NOCs to them as well.
Following their selection in NEET PG and placement in sponsored DNB seats in various specialities at various hospitals, these physicians applied to their respective Departments for a three-year study leave as well as the issuing of a relieving order, along with the required Bonds.
The relevant Hospitals, however, took no action, forcing the Appellants to go to the High Court and file writ petitions before the Single Judge bench, which dismissed the petitions.
The major complaint of these doctors was that they had taken the NEET PG test in order to compete for sponsored DNB seats, despite the fact that the involved hospitals had no problem to them doing the PG course, as evidenced by the granting of ‘No Objection Certificates.’
The appellants’ lawyer passionately contended that the Appellants were told that if they passed the exam, they would be allowed study leave and released from their respective hospitals.
On the other side, lawyers representing the affected hospitals said that when ‘No Objection Certificates’ are issued, doctors are given study leave to pursue the courses they choose to enrol in.
However, due to the Pandemic COVID-19, study leave was not provided to the Appellants herein since the services of the Doctors were required at the Hospitals and the Government could not spare the Doctors for pursuing PG Courses due to the rise in the number of patients.
They further claimed that the case had been reviewed by the Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor, and that authorization / consent had now been given for the Appellants to be granted study leave.
After listening to the contentions, the High Court bench found merit in the contentions of the appellants that the respective hospitals had granted NOCs to the doctors and therefore, there was approval and sanction for taking admission in the PG course.
“In any case, the seats against which the Appellants have been admitted are sponsored seats and the Appellants could only have applied with the approval of the concerned Departments. Having secured admission in the PG Course, the Appellants are unable to join only because the concerned Hospitals have not so far taken action to grant study leave,” noted the court.
“The last date for admission is 30.09.2021 and if the Appellants are not granted study leave during the course of the day, they will be unable to join the PG Course. If the Appellants join the courses, it shall only inure to the advantage of the Hospitals as the Appellants would be acquiring higher education and qualifications. We see no reason why the concerned Hospitals should further delay the grant of study leave to the Appellants,” the court further observed.