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Delhi High Court To Hear On Sept 17 Plea Of Medical Aspirant With Amputated Arm, Denied Admission To MBBS Course On Account Of Disability

Shrutika Pandey
26 Aug 2021 12:30 PM GMT
Delhi High Court To Hear On Sept 17 Plea Of Medical Aspirant With Amputated Arm, Denied Admission To MBBS Course On Account Of Disability
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The Delhi High Court today heard a writ petition filed by a medical aspirant, denied admission to a medical college despite qualifying the NEET exam, on account of her physical disability.The Petitioner, whose left arm is amputated, has challenged the General Medical Admission Regulation, 1997 which requires that both hands of the candidate should be "intact, with intact sensations,...

The Delhi High Court today heard a writ petition filed by a medical aspirant, denied admission to a medical college despite qualifying the NEET exam, on account of her physical disability.

The Petitioner, whose left arm is amputated, has challenged the General Medical Admission Regulation, 1997 which requires that both hands of the candidate should be "intact, with intact sensations, sufficient strength and range of motion" to be considered eligible for medical courses.

Filed through Advocate Mrinal Gopal Elker, the plea claims that a limit of this nature dis-entitles persons with specified benchmark disability from pursuing undergraduate medical education, and therefore are abhorrent to the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006 and the Right of Person with Disability Act, 2016 and violate the petitioner's fundamental rights under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

It adds,

"The petitioner has been using a prosthetic arm and has been advised to undergo a hand transplant in a couple of years from now and thus to deny her the opportunity today would put a complete embargo on her wish to become a doctor even if she successfully undergoes a hand transplant."

The plea also emphasize the need for a level playing field for all citizens, having equality of fair opportunity enabling them to realize their full potential as held by the Apex Court in Sunanda Bhandare Foundation v. Union of India (2017).

It also mentions the case of Muskan Abdul Rahim Shaikh v. State. of Gujarat & Ors., SLP No. 24524/2018, whereby the Top Court directed admission of the petitioner therein (with similar disability) as she was held to be entitled to admission as per merit under the reserved category. "It must be mentioned that the order was directed not be treated as precedent and has been cited only as an illustration," the plea clarified.

Advocate Indrajit Sinha, appearing for the Petitioner before the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, relied on the Supreme Court's decision in Vikash Kumar v. Union Public Service Commission. In this case it was opined,

"Union Government should be mindful that the duty to provide reasonable accommodation is an individualized duty...In other words, a case-by-case approach must be adopted by the relevant body charged with the obligation of providing reasonable accommodation. This requires the relevant body to engage in a dialogue with the individual with disability...consultation with persons with disabilities and their involvement in decision making about matters affecting their lives is necessary to bring about any meaningful change in the realization of their rights.

Advocate Abhijit Chakravarty, appearing for the Government, submitted that the Delhi University will be the implementing authority in the matter as the Petitioner was allotted a seat in one of it's affiliated colleges.

Accordingly, the matter was adjourned to enable the Petitioner to implead DU.

The matter is fixed for September 17.

Also Read: Persons With Low Vision Can't Be Denied Reservation In Admission To MBBS Course, Holds SC

Case Title: Baibhavi Sharma v. Union of India

(Edited by Akshita Saxena)

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