The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected Maharashtra government's plea seeking six months' time to take a decision on the recruitment of over 500 professors in the medical colleges in the state.
It directed the government to fill up the posts by April 1, the next date of hearing.
"Why are you seeking time?...Maharashtra is considered to be a progressive state and such vacancies should have been filled up much earlier," said the division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Anil Menon.
"Is filling up vacant posts of professors not your duty? By not taking any steps, you are likely to close down medical colleges," said the judges while hearing a suo motu (on its own) public interest litigation based on a newspaper report about vacancies in government medical colleges.
Last year, the HC had directed the government to take steps to fill the vacant posts by January 31, 2015. However, the government sought another six months on Tuesday.
The court expressed anguish over the inaction, saying that the state had failed to comply with the earlier order.
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There are 14 medical colleges in the state in which there are 1,434 posts of Assistant Professors. Of these, 862 are lying vacant, the HC was informed.