Condition of furnishing bank guarantee by students seeking admission to MD/MS courses to ensure availability of best medical care to natives residing in remote areas

High Court of Himachal Pradesh: While deciding a set of writ petitions, a two-Judge Bench comprising of Sanjay Karol, Acting CJ and Ajay Mohan Goel, J. held that it cannot be said that the condition of furnishing bank guarantee is illegal, or that it is violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and it casts an unnecessary burden upon the students belonging to economically backward families, seeking admission in PG Medical courses.

Department of Medical Education and Research, H.P., issued a Prospectus-cum-Application Form for admission to the Postgraduate Degree (MD/MS) courses. In terms of the prospectus, petitioners were selected and admitted to the respective courses of their choice. Petitioners approached the High Court, assailing the condition of furnishing bank guarantee, as stipulated in the prospectus. The challenge was on the grounds that such condition was unreasonable, irrational, illogical and thus illegal; in the past no such condition was imposed; the condition was violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution inasmuch as it restricted admission only to economically affluent candidates.

The Court after perusing the prospectus and the cases cited by the parties held that prospectus is a complete code in itself, candidates seeking admission under the prospectus are bound by the terms contained therein. It was also noted that all candidates, were entitled to receive financial assistance from the State. It was in this backdrop, that the Court found the condition to be absolutely reasonable. The bank guarantee was to be furnished in stages. The condition of furnishing bank guarantee was with the avowed object of ensuring availability of best medical care and facilities to the natives of the State, residing in remote, far flung and tribal areas. Under the Constitution, the State is to provide good health to all residents, in all areas, be it urban or rural. It was with this object, so to say to check the brain-drain, the condition stood imposed. Accordingly, the impugned condition was held to be valid and the petitions were dismissed. [Dr. Ramesh Kaundal v. State of H.P., 2017 SCC OnLine HP 1449, decided on September 20, 2017]

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