The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a Petition filed by a medical aspirant with "low vision", demanding that the authorities be directed to issue him a disability certificate and grant him admission under the reserved category in an undergraduate course through National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2018.
The Bench comprising Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice Deepak Gupta issued notice on the petition, and also directed the student, Ashutosh Purswani to appear before the medical board of the BJ Medical College, Ahmadabad, Gujarat within three days. The college has been directed to send the certificate specifying disability if any to the Supreme Court registry within four days. The matter has now been posted on 3 July.
The Court has been approached by Ashutosh through his father, submitting that he was not granted a disability certificate despite "low vision" being a benchmark disability under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The certificate is supposed to note down the extent of disability and suitability of such candidate for undertaking the course.
Ashutosh cites the Gujarat Professional Medical Educational Courses (Regulation of Admission in Undergraduate Courses) Rules, 2017 as well as the NEET prospectus to highlight the need of such certificate. He submits that he approached one of the four colleges notified for the assessment but was denied the same, with the committee saying that they were issuing such certificates for locomotive disabled category only. As per the petition, he did not receive any response from the State medical board as well.
He was therefore forced to approach the Apex Court, and has now relied on various precedents wherein students with similar disabilities were admitted to medical colleges through the quota after the Court's intervention.
Ashutosh also draws the attention of the Court to MCI amendments and notifications which provide for reserving 5 percent seats of the annual sanctioned intake capacity for candidates with benchmark disability in accordance with the provisions of the Act. He alleges that with the denial to issue him a disability certificate, he is being denied the benefit of such provisions.
He further asserts, "...due to inaction on the part of the Respondent State Government and its various departments, the Petitioner, despite suffering from ‘low-vision’, which a scheduled disease under the Act 2016, is unable to get the disability certificate. The Petitioner, in person, and through his representatives, has made various oral representations, requesting for issuance of disability certificate in terms of the Act, 2016 but the Respondent State Government till date, has failed to discharge its constitutional obligation, thereby denying the Petitioner of her rights guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (g) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India."