Gujarat HC quashes 3-year rural service rule
In a big relief to students studying in government medical colleges, the Gujarat high court on Friday struck down the requirement of mandatory three-year service in rural areas after their postgraduation.

The high court quashed the state government resolutions adopted in 2013 and 2014 forcing medical students of government colleges to furnish a bond of Rs 10 lakh in form of bank guarantee, or solvency certificate for properties worth Rs 12 lakh, as a guarantee to serve in rural areas for three years after they complete postgraduation.

The government defended the bond system by arguing that much expenditure was incurred on training of doctors and since qualified MBBS doctors are not available in rural areas, it is the duty of the students to pay back to the society. Justice Bela Trivedi said, “The expenditure incurred by the state on medical education cannot be permitted to be recovered from a class of students who have got admission in PG courses on their own merits.”

The court further said that such bond agreement and the conditions mentioned therein are opposed to public policy and therefore void. The government is in dominating position and the students are not similarly situated. They have no choice but to give assent to bond agreement, though the conditions are too harsh, unreasonable and onerous. Making students sign such bonds is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The HC also stressed on students’ right to education and held the practice illegal because students do not sign on their “free will”.

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