Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission building in Indore
Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission building in Indore

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Days after principal bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission has declared a list of 495 medical officers selected against 632 vacancies lying vacant in Department of Public Health and Family Welfare.

These medical officers will now be appointed in different government hospitals across the state. The appointments will be a shot in the arm for state government ahead of Covid-19 third wave, if comes any.

On behalf of health department, MPPSC had advertised 886 posts of medical officers, reserving 27 per cent posts for candidates belonging to OBC.

Interviews for filling the posts were mainly done from June 1-12 but selection list could not be declared following petitions challenging increase of OBC quota from 14 per cent to 27 per cent.

Citing second wave of Covid-19 and apprehending third wave, applications were moved in the High Court by the state government and MPPSC requesting for release of list of candidates selected against medical officers’ posts and their appointments.

Through an order dated January 31, 2020, the High Court had permitted MPPSC to go ahead with selection process but added that the same will not be finalised and no appointments will be made without prior permission of the court.

Therefore, the state government and MPPSC moved High Court some months back seeking permission for appointments of medical officers. The government and MPPSC had apprehended third wave of Covid-19 with their request for allowing appointments of medical officers.

In its order dated July 13, 2021, the High Court allowed the state government as well as MPPSC to go ahead with process of selection and publish the list of all the categories including reservation to the extent of only 14 per cent to candidates of OBC and proceed accordingly to issue appointment on the posts of medical officers.

Following High Court order, the MPPSC accordingly reduced the number of vacant posts from 886 to 632 and released the list of candidates selected for medical officer posts.

Provisional appointments of EWS candidates

The petitions had also challenged the reservation of 10 per cent provided to the candidates of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), which if added to the overall percentage of reservation including 27 per cent reservation provided to OBC, the total reservation would far exceed the limit of 50 per cent, thus, taking the total reservation to as high as 73 per cent, in breach of the ratio of constitutional bench judgment of the Supreme Court.

The government had submitted that reservation provided to EWS stands on different footing than the reservation provided to OBC as it has the backing of the Articles 15(6) and 16(6) and therefore, the two cannot be equated.

After hearing all the parties, the High Court ruled, that a stipulation may be made in the appointment order of the candidates appointed against the posts reserved for EWS category that their appointment shall be provisional, subject to final outcome of the writ petitions.

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