BHOPAL/JABALPUR: The Madhya Pradesh high court has “reluctantly” turned down the petition of a doctor, who sought an order to the authorities of a medical college to grant her three years of study leave to complete her PG course.
The petitioner, Dr Sheetal


, had moved HC, saying she wanted to pursue higher studies to “equip herself to serve patients better”. However, the

Shahdol Government Medical College

management denied her leave, saying that it might put at risk their recognition from the Medical Council of India (MCI).
The bench of Justice

Sujoy Paul

acknowledged that the petitioner had a “legitimate aspiration”, but noted that the reason given by the medical college was also a plausible explanation, and that the “interest of the institution, or public interest, should take precedence over individual aspiration”.
Dr Soni is a demonstrator/tutor in the physiology department of the medical college. She said that she appeared in the NEET-PG exam in February 2023 with the permission of the management. She cleared the exam, went through the counselling, and sought study leave of three years, but was turned down, prompting her to move court.

The government counsel said she couldn’t be given leave due to “unavoidable circumstances”. He said that there are four posts of demonstrators/tutors in the college, one of which is vacant. If she were granted study leave for three years, MCI could cancel recognition to the college, he said.
The court noted that when Dr Soni was granted permission to appear in the NEET-PG exam, it was made clear that it wasn’t a permission to take admission in a PG course. Referring to MP civil service rules, the judge said that it’s clear that leave is not the right of an employee and it can be refused or cancelled in case of administrative exigencies.

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