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Twin blows to Tripura govt

Agartala, April 24: In a major blow to the beleaguered state health department, High Court of Tripura yesterday ordered the preparation of a fresh merit list for admission to MD course in Agartala Government Medical College.

A writ petition was filed by advocate Arijit Bhowmik representing doctors Sukanta Saha and Mousumi Sarkar in February this year challenging the categorisation of candidates in “open” and “sponsored” groups for admission.

Bhowmik said the advertisement issued by the department of medical education on December 30, 2013, had said that candidates “sponsored” by the state government would have to be below 42 years and must have completed at least five years of service in the health department.

“But on the day of the examination on January 30 this year, a fresh notification had been issued increasing age relaxation to sponsored candidates up to 45 years to help serving doctors Anup Kumar Laha and Bidhan Bhowmik switch over from open category to sponsored category,” Bhowmik said.

He added that the increased age relaxation had deprived his clients Sarkar and Saha who had been sponsored candidates as their positions would be taken over by Laha and Bidhan Bhowmik in the sponsored category.

He said the writ petition was filed in February, but the final order was passed yesterday.

“In the final order, a division bench of Chief Justice Deepak Kumar Gupta and Justice Swapan Chandra Das cancelled the increase in age relaxation on the day of examination and directed the medical education department to prepare a fresh merit list and submit it to court by April 29. Classes of MD will begin from May 2,” Arijit Bhowmik said.

Director of medical education Sidhartha Mazumder refused to comment on the court order.

In a second blow to the state government, the high court division bench of Chief Justice Deepak Kumar Gupta and Justice Swapan Chandra Das yesterday directed the state government to submit the merit list for giving appointments to more than 11,000 candidates as undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate teachers over the past four years.

In 2010, the school education department appointed 6,000 graduate and post-graduate teachers on fixed pay for five years on the basis of mass interviews taken earlier. Again in December last year, the state government appointed 5,000 undergraduate teachers in primary schools.