Doctors file PIL against age limit for post of asst prof

By PTI Published on Sep 16, 2018 11:50 AM IST

Chennai: Various doctors have filed a petition in the Madras High Court against a clause of the Medical Council of India which prescribes 40 as the maximum age limit for appointment to the post of senior resident or assistant professor in medical colleges.

The public interest litigation (PIL) petition came up recently before a bench, comprising Justices S Manikumar and Subramanioum Prasad. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on 19 September after Assistant Solicitor General Karthikeyan, appearing on behalf of the MCI, sought time to file a counter.

The council had brought an amendment vide Clause 6 of Schedule I of the Minimum Qualification for Teachers Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998, with effect from 8 June, 2017, prescribing the age limit as 40 for posting as senior resident.

The petitioners, all government doctors, submitted that they got admission to PG degree courses before the amendment. They said the special rules of the Tamilnadu Medical Services mandate that the post of the senior resident and the assistant professor must be held by a MBBS degree-holder who must have done PG work in a teaching institution for a period of not less than two years or he must possess a super speciality degree. Further, the petitioners said there was no age limit prescribed when they joined the PG medical courses.

The government had forwarded a proposal to the Centre on November 27, 2017, to drop the criteria of age limit, making it clear it would affect the entire medical administration and further affect the career of the doctors who are encouraged to serve in rural/hilly/remote areas by awarding incentive marks.

Besides, the government had mentioned that the cap on age limit would be counterproductive to its policy decision, especially when seen against the MCI relaxing retirement age for faculty in medical colleges to 70 years. The petitioners sought an interim injunction, besides declaring the clause as "unconstitutional, ultra vires, discriminatory and illegal".