In a major relief to medical officers, the Supreme Court on Monday allowed states to grant the benefit of reservation of seats to in-service doctors in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) postgraduate degree courses.

The apex court, in its judgment, said that the state government has the power to give reservation in PG admissions to government doctors working in remote areas. A five-judge Constitution bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran, Indira Banerjee, MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose said that the Medical Council of India (MCI) has no right to interfere in the reservation for in-service doctors to take admission to PG courses.

The Bench held that MCI regulation that barred such reservations as unconstitutional and arbitrary. It asked the states to formulate a scheme for rural/remote service by in-service doctors after completing PG degree.

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