Doctor gets back his papers

Calcutta: The doctor from Madhya Pradesh who was stuck in Bengal because the state government had been refusing to hand him his certificates has finally got back his papers.

The high court had on Monday ordered the government to hand over the papers to Rahul Bansal, who has a postgraduate diploma in psychiatry from the West Bengal Health University, by Wednesday.

Kallol Bose, the lawyer who appeared for Bansal, submitted before the division bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Shampa Sarkar that the state had complied with the order.

Bansal took a flight home on Wednesday evening.

The doctor had signed a bond during his admission to the Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research at SSKM Hospital in 2015, agreeing to work in Bengal for at least five years after completing the two-year course or pay Rs 20 lakh.

The state government had kept his certificates as surety.

All doctors have to sign the bond before joining a postgraduate diploma course in Bengal.

Bansal paid the money after completing the course but the health university refused to hand him his papers. The university cited a shortage of specialist doctors in the state government service in an attempt to defend its decision.

The authorities' decision to hold on to the papers forced Bansal to move the high court.

In May 2018, a single-judge bench of the court had directed the university to return Bansal's certificates against a payment of Rs 20 lakh.

The state challenged the order before a division bench. State counsel Tapan Mukherjee had submitted before the bench: "The Bengal government has a shortage of more than 4,000 doctors. Many superspeciality hospitals and health-care units do not have enough qualified doctors...."

Similar petitions filed by at least 42 other doctors are pending in the high court. The government fears the outcome of Bansal's case may prompt others to pay the money and be freed from the clause requiring them to work in the state for five years.


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