Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh Wednesday directed the National Medical Commission (NMC), which has replaced Medical Council of India (MCI), to issue eligibility certificates to two doctors and enroll them as medical practitioners, 14 years after they completed their MBBS from Kazakhstan.
After passing their 12th class examination, Abdul Rouf Bhat and Bilal Ahmad Tantray, now both doctors, had proceeded to Kazakhstan for pursuing MBBS course in September 2002.
As per a notification issued by erstwhile MCI in 2002, all students to undergo MBBS course in foreign medical institutions after March 15, 2002, were required to obtain an eligibility certificate from the MCI, which was to be produced before the university concerned where the admission was to be obtained.
After returning, such a candidate was to appear and qualify in a screening test for getting registered as a medical practitioner in India.
“In the case on hand, the petitioners in the year 2002 have proceeded to Kazakhstan for an MBBS course in the Kazakh National University. No doubt from March 2002, candidates were required to obtain an eligibility certificate from the MCI for undergoing MBBS course in any foreign country, however, till the year 2008, the said notification was not implemented as is evident from the press note issued by MCI on October 9, 2008,” the court said.
It said that the petitioners had also undergone a preparatory course of one year in Kazakhstan and qualified it successfully, which is equivalent to 10+2 standard of the Indian Education System.
“On their return to homeland after completing the MBBS course in the year 2009, the petitioners had undergone the screening test conducted by the Medical Board of India and qualified it successfully,” the court said.
The authorities had also contested the plea on the ground that the petitioners had obtained 49 percent and 49.33 percent marks in their 12th class, less by a percent needed for admission to MBBS in India.
However, as per the contention of the petitioners, the admission to MBBS in Kazakhstan is based on 10th class examination only and they were required to pass a “preparatory course” before seeking admission in MBBS course.
“After successfully completing the MBBS course and making the grade in the screening test by the petitioners, it is now immaterial and irrelevant to say that the petitioners have got marks less by 1 percent or fraction thereof, as required in 10+2 examination,” the court said.
“Having regard to the petitioners getting admission in MBBS course at Kazakh University in Kazakhstan on being permitted by the Government of India in the year 2002, in which year eligibility rules also were issued by respondent MCI, which were not enforced strictly till the year 2008, when the petitioners were in advanced years of their completion of course, which they qualified in the year 2009, and the petitioners also having qualified the screening test conducted by the National Board of Examination for registration as medical practitioners, on the basis of the afore-stated law laid down by the courts and particularly on the basis of equity, succeed in their petitions,” the court said.
It said that the admitted fact was that the petitioners had spent their valuable time of their youth, money, and energy in pursuing the MBBS course and in preparation and appearing in the examination.
“However, the delay on the part of the concerned authorities to take decision has led to a situation which has put them to immense disadvantage and would ruin their future career in life, if their successful courses of MBBS are allowed to be wasted,” the .
The court directed authorities concerned, “more particularly NMC to issue Eligibility Certificates in favour of the petitioners and grant them registration as Medical Practitioners in terms of the rules governing the field, preferably within a period of four weeks.