THE DELHI High Court has asked authorities in Delhi to reconsider within two weeks their decision of denying study leave to two doctors. The leave was denied to the medicos on the ground that there is a deficiency of doctors amid a likelihood of increase in COVID-19 cases in the city in the months of November and December.
Justice Jyoti Singh in an order asked the competent authority to keep in mind that the doctors were given unconditional NOCs in June, when the number of cases were at peak, with an assurance that they would be relieved on their selection for Diplomate of National Board (DNB) training.
The court also asked the authorities to consider that the doctors secured high rankings after having put in a lot of labour and hard work to clear the examination and counselling.
“Petitioners are only seeking to improve their qualifications, experience and skill by undergoing the PG Course. It needs no emphasis that higher qualification and experience shall only inure to the advantage of the hospitals they are working in and ultimately benefit the Government,” the court said in the order.
The two doctors were allocated DNB Radiodiagnosis at Apollo Hospital, Bangalore and DNB General Medicine (Broad Speciality), St. Stephen’s Hospital Delhi after their selection for the seats in August. They had earlier received due permission and NOC from their employers before counseling for the PG courses. However, as per the notings of Lt-Governor placed before court, their request was denied on account of COVID-19 with a reasoning that it will not be feasible to spare the doctors during next two months.
Terming the decision of the authorities “most unfortunate”, the single-judge bench said no condition or caveat was attached to their NOCs.
“The stand of the respondents that the petitioners cannot be relieved on account of pandemic seems strange to the court taking into account the fact that when the NOCs were given in June 2020 the pandemic existed and there was a spike in the number of cases. Surely the respondents contemplated the situation to continue for a while and yet assured the petitioners that they shall be relieved,” it said.
While ordering that the fresh decision be communicated to the two petitioners, the court has also said the same be submitted on affidavit before it. The next date of hearing in the case is November 11. The seats allocated to the two doctors were ordered to be kept reserved by the court on September 3.
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