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Rejig medical panel with honest members: Court

Cuttack, April 23: The postgraduate medical selection committee, which is already facing contempt charges, is now in for more trouble. After framing contempt charges against the chairman, convenor and other members of the committee, Orissa High Court has now asked the state government to replace them with “responsible, efficient and honest persons”.

The order has made it clear to the state government “that such kind of persons who have no regard for the court’s order and have acted arbitrarily and unfairly without complying this court’s order and not followed the guidelines or provisions of law should not be put in any responsible committee, particularly the committee for selection of postgraduate medical students”.

Acting on a petition filed by candidates in the in-service category, the high court had directed the committee to award full grace marks to candidates who had appeared for the entrance test for 2011-12 for 38 erroneous questions.

The direction was issued on May 19 last year after taking into consideration views of an expert committee. But the committee went ahead with the admission process and filled up seats by admitting direct candidates against the in-service candidate seats without complying with the court order. Subsequently, one contempt petition was filed.

Acting on it, the high court framed contempt charges on January 9 against the selection committee chairman Prasanna Das, convenor Santosh Kumar Behera and members D.N. Moharana and S. Bag.

While the contempt case is still pending, some direct candidates who were admitted to the postgraduate medical course for the academic year 2011 against in-service candidates’ quota had filed an appeal petition against possible cancellation of their admission.

While disposing of the petition, the court said: “In this case, blatant violation of the order of this court has been committed by the chairman, convenor and other members of the committee. We express our deep concern and anguish for the reason that great injustice is caused to the student respondents (in-service candidates who were deprived of admission to the postgraduate course for 2011 because of non-compliance of court order).”