The Delhi High Court, on Monday, quashed an order directing admission of a thalassaemic student to MBBS course at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
The Court was hearing Appeals filed by the University and the Medical Council of India (MCI), challenging an order passed by a single Judge directing the admission of one Mr. Digant Jain to their MBBS Course for the academic year 2017-18.
Mr. Jain had complained of unfair treatment in admissions to course, contending that his application as a candidate with disabilities did not receive proper and due consideration in accordance with provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
The University, on the other hand, had contended that even though thalassemia was categorized as a disability under the 2016 Act, its hands were tied in the absence of the MCI’s clearance to treat a thalassemia patient as entitled for admission to the MBBS course. It was further argued that all seats had been filled by the date of the hearing of the Petition as the vacant reserved seats were converted to general category seats.
The MCI had supported the University's contentions, submitting that the schedule prescribed by the Supreme Court for admissions to MBBS courses needs to be adhered to. It averred that since the last date for admissions was 31 August, no relief could be granted now.
At the outset, the Court noted that Appellants cannot be faulted for not implementing the amendments right away with respect to all categories of disabled persons because the law required a Committee to evaluate the nature of the disability to determine its suitability to a particular educational course.
Thereafter, agreeing with the submissions made by the Appellants, the Bench comprising Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sunil Gaur emphasized on the fact that the timelines prescribed by the MCI for admissions are "absolute and inviolable".
It then ruled, "Digant, in this case, approached the court and filed the writ petition on 26.08.2017. When the petition was taken-up, no direction to keep a seat vacant was sought or granted. Therefore, when the judgment was in fact delivered, i.e. on 19.09.2017, the deadline for admission, i.e., the last date had long passed. In these circumstances, the learned single judge could not have directed admission, of the candidate, even if it were assumed (though such assumption has no basis in the present case) that a vacancy existed in the PH/PD quota."