11 Jan 2023 3:56 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea moved by a NEET-UG candidate with 60% locomotor disability, who has been declared ineligible for admission in the medical course due to a Disability Certificate issued by Lady Hardinge Medical College, the designated Disability Certification Centre of National Medical Commission.Justice Vikas Mahajan sought response of the Central...
The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea moved by a NEET-UG candidate with 60% locomotor disability, who has been declared ineligible for admission in the medical course due to a Disability Certificate issued by Lady Hardinge Medical College, the designated Disability Certification Centre of National Medical Commission.
Justice Vikas Mahajan sought response of the Central Government, Medical Counselling Committee of Directorate General of Health Services, National Testing Agency, National Medical Commission, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Department of Empowerment of PwD, while listing the matter for hearing on February 27.
"Counter affidavit be filed within a period of four weeks. Rejoinder thereto, if any, be filed before the next date," said the court.
Usman, who appeared in NEET-2022 examination, scored the percentile which was above the cut-off marks as per the reservation category laid down by NTA, according to the petition. His counsel told the court that he is a person with 60% locomotor disability which falls under clause (c) of Section 34(1) of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016.
He undertook NEET-UG, 2022 examination and after clearing the same he reported at the designated Disability Assessment Board constituted by the Medical Council Committee of DGHS for his assessment as per the statutory regulations of the National Medical Commission.
"The Designated Medical Assessment Board ... assessed the petitioner’s disability at 100% on 08.10.2022. Apart from the disability, the Board made the observation that 'the candidate is not using any assistive devices hence the functional competency could not be assessed'," advocate Sadiya Rohma Khan submitted.
She argued the assessment of the petitioner’s disability to the extent of 100% is not tenable especially when the Disability Board has itself observed that the petitioner is not using any assistive devices.
In the petition, it has been contended that Usman was not examined properly at the Designated Centre since his original disability certificate issued by Chief Medical Officer, Uttar Pradesh confirmed his locomotor disability at 60 percent. No detailed or even logical reasons were given regarding the disability percentage being 100 percentage, it alleges.
The petition further alleges that National Medical Commission has failed to implement the NEET-UG Guidelines for the Persons with Disability (PwD). The guidelines for PwD issued by Medical Counselling Committee clearly provide that even if a Person with Disability is more than 80 percent disabled, the functional competency must be determined, it contends.
"The petitioner despite having qualified the prescribed cut-off percentile as per his reservation category is denied to pursue the NEET-UG medical course," the petition states.
Usman has further submitted that he holds the Unique Disability Identity Card along with the certificate issued by the Chief Medical Officer, Uttar Pradesh, confirming 60% locomotor disability percentage, thus, there was no need to require the petitioner to attend a physical examination for disabled candidates.
“The need to again attend a physical examination screening for disabled candidates whose Unique disabled identity cards include permanent validity, lacks logic and is an unnecessary burden on the disabled persons who hold a valid ID card confirming a 'permanent disability percentage'," he has said in the plea.
It is mockery that a disabled person with locomotor disability has to run from pillar to post to get the disability percentage re-examined, when the needful is already done by the State Government via the Unique ID card issued, the petition states.
The petition seeks clarity on the benefits available to the Unique Disability ID Card Holders as well as its authenticity in assessing the disability percentage for permanent and non-progressive disabilities, as per the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation), Rules, 1996.
It also wants NTA and the National Medical Commission to reassess whether the admission process under NEET-UG is inclusive for all and whether reasonable opportunity is being provided to the disabled persons under the Disabilities Act 2016.
Case Title: Usman versus Union of India & Ors.
Counsel for the Petitioner: Ms Sadiya Rohma Khan and Mr Asad Alvi, Advocates
Counsel for the Respondents: Ms Monika Arora, CGSC with Mr Subhrodeep Saha and Mr Yash Tyagi, Advocates for R-1 and R-2. Mr Sanjay Khanna, Standing Counsel, Ms Pragya Bhushan, Mr Karandeep Singh and Mr Tarandeep Singh, Advocates for R-3. Mr T. Singhdev and Mr Abhijit Chakravarty, Advocates for R-4.
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