Madras High Court has held that in-service candidates, who were posted in rural, hilly or difficult areas and availed maternity leave are entitled to incentive marks for admission to PG medical courses.
A division bench comprising Justices Huluvadi G. Ramesh and M. Dhandapani, who gave the ruling while disposing of a batch of petitions from P. Sowmyaa and others however said that the incentive marks shall be calculated for the period of maternity leave, on the basis of the performance of the in-service candidates during their service in the rest of the period.
Originally, concurring with the view taken by Justice N. Kirubakaran that candidates are entitled to maternity leave, which shall be counted for the purpose of continuity of service, Justice S. Vaidyanathan, however, differed with his view extending the benefit of incentive marks to them, and referred the matter to be decided by a division bench. Accordingly, the matter was posted before this division bench.
The bench said the intention of the government to give incentive marks to in-service candidates for their service rendered in remote, hilly or difficult areas, taking note of the difficulty they would undergo in such areas, was a noble one. The intention of the government was supported by regulations of Medical Council of India. Therefore, such intention of the government should not get defeated, the bench added.
As per Clause 16 of the prospectus, service candidates will be awarded up to 10 percent of marks secured in Neet PG 2018 per year of completion of service in the remote, hilly or difficult areas. Petitioners were also entitled to incentive marks as they have completed two years of service including maternity leave availed by them, for the purpose of becoming eligible to pursue PG course, the bench added.
When the intention is to give benefits to women, the same intention should not take away the consequential benefits given to the in-service women candidates by way of incentive marks.
“We are, therefore, of the view that the petitioners are entitled to the period of maternity leave as the service period for the purpose of awarding incentive marks,” the bench added.