Raj HC | Study leave can be granted if the course of study is in the interest of the working of government or to service which govt. servant belongs; Court allows petition

Rajasthan High Court: Ashok Kumar Gaur, J., allowed a writ petition which was filed seeking a direction to grant them study leave to undergo their Post-Graduate Medical Course on the seats allotted to them in NEET PG Counselling, 2020.

Petitioners 1 & 2 were senior Demonstrators working in Government Medical Colleges in State of Rajasthan and further, petitioner 3 was an Assistant Professor, also working as per the provisions contained in the Rajasthan Medical Service (Collegiate Branch) Rules, 1962 (for short “the Rules of 1962”).

The petitioners had pleaded in the writ petition that after their admission in PG Course, they applied for study leave to pursue their course and as such, the respondents did not take any action on the representation submitted by the petitioners to grant study leave and further, did not relieve them to join the course and as such, they filed the writ petition before this Court.

The court on 03-09-2020 had given direction to the respondents to relieve the petitioners and permit them to join the allotted PG Course and the same order was subject to final outcome of the writ petition.

Counsel for the petitioners, Mr Aslam Khan submitted that the Finance Department (Rules Division), Government of Rajasthan, by Notification dated 31st July, 2020, had made amendment in Rule 112 of RSR and existing exception of Clause (ii) of sub-Rule (1) of Rule 112 of RSR, was substituted and as per the amendment made by the State Government, the petitioners are entitled for study leave.

Counsel for respondent, Mr Harshal Tholia submitted that since, the petitioners were changing their stream and as such, after completing the course, their acquisition of knowledge/skill will be of no use to the State Government and as such, benefit of study leave may not be granted to the petitioners. He further submitted that the provision contained in Rule 112 of RSR, makes it very clear that if a candidate pursues the course of study and grant of study leave is in the interest of the working of the Department or the service, to which government servant belongs then only the study leave can be granted to government servant.

The Court perused the clauses (i) and (ii) of subrule (1) of Rule 112 of RSR along with Exception and Notification dated 31st July, 2020 and found that in the case of Dr. Pooja Mathur v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.9113 of 2020 Court had considered the Notification dated 31st July, 2020. The Court was of the opinion that circular dated 17-09-2020, issued by the respondents, overlooked Rule 112 of RSR where government servant could get study leave if the course of study is in the interest of the working of government or to service which govt. servant belongs. The said circular also runs contrary to amendment made by substituting exception in Clause (i) of sub-Rule (1) of Rule 112 of RSR where different category of employees of medical department have been made eligible to get study leave for 36 months.

The Court allowing the petition found that respondents had wrongly denied benefit of study leave to the petitioners and as such, the petitioners were entitled for study leave, as per the Notification.[Dr Sheikh Mohmmad Afzal v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 9331 of 2020, decided on 23-02-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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