HC allows NEET candidate to appear in Mop Up Round, slams authorities for issuing disability certificate without guidelines
Jaipu: While considering the plea by a PWD NEET candidate seeking a permanent disability certificate, the Rajasthan High Court recently slammed the authorities in charge of granting disability certificates.
The HC bench comprising of Justice Ashok Kumar Gaur took note of the fact that the authorities, while dealing with the application by the petitioner NEET UG aspirant, had issued certificate without adhering to the norms repeatedly.
Opining it to be a "classic example of non application of mind by the Authorities", the bench observed, "Authorities—Disability Certificate Centre, which have been entrusted with the job of considering eligibility of the candidates, who appear before them, are required to act in proper manner and they are required to adhere to the Gazette Notification, which has been issued and candidature of the candidates should be examined on the same parameters, as enumerated in the Gazette or guidelines issued from time to time."
Meanwhile, allowing the plea, the bench noted, "the petitioner will now be entitled to participate in the Mop-up round of counselling or any subsequent counselling, to be conducted by the respondents and his result will be accordingly declared by the Authorities and will be granted admission if falls in merit. This Court before parting with the judgment."
The petitioner approached the Rajasthan High Court seeking permanent disability certificate for the purpose of getting admission in MBBS UG Course, 2021. Apart from this, the petitioner also was aggrieved against the issuance of certificate dated 27.12.2021 by the Disability Certificate Centre- SMS Medical College, Jaipur, due to which, the petitioner was found to be ineligible for admission for MBBS UG course.
On the other hand, the petitioner claimed that he was eligible for admission in the category of Persons with Disability (PwD), as per the result of NEET-UG 2021 examination and participation in the counselling.
Meanwhile, the HC by the order dated 16.03.2022 had directed the competent authority to re-examine the petitioner for the purpose of disability certificate and the court had directed the Superintendent of SMS Medical College, Jaipur to constitute a Board, as required for issuance of certificate of disability and the petitioner was to appear before the Board for his examination for the purpose of issuance of disability certificate. Consequently, the petitioner was examined on 22.03.2022.
Taking the report into consideration, the bench on 28.03.2022 found that the certificate which was issued by the members of the Board did not take into account the guidelines, which have been issued by the Competent Authority for issuance of disability certificate. Following this, the bench directed to petitioner to approach the board again and advised the board to remain more careful and adhere by the guidelines issued in the Official Gazette dated 13.05.2019.
Referring to the new report, the bench noted, "The perusal of aforesaid report makes it clear that the petitioner is having intact sensation, minimal weakness in right hand with normal range of motion in both the hands. His left upper limb and lower limb is normal and due to physical impairment i.e. post traumatic (head injury), the petitioner is able to perform activity of daily living without any assistance but is having minimal difficulty in performing precised work, like difficulty in holding pen in right hand and slow speed of the writing."
Responding to this, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that the second medical examination of the petitioner by Members of the Board, as per direction of this Court, also met with the same fate and the Authorities only made a remark that the petitioner had post head injury right spastic hemiparesis involving upper limb and lower limb with facial weakness on right side and treacheostomy mark and his permanent disability score was 2 and his permanent physical impairment score was 50% and due to involvement of right upper limb, he was unfit for NEET UG MBBS Course.
It was further submitted by the petitioner's counsel that in view of further examination by the members of the board and as per report dated 29.03.2022, the petitioner, who secured 2006th rank, cannot be deprived from admission in MBBS Course as he is entitled to get the benefit of reservation, provided to the Person with Disability (PwD).
On the other hand, the counsel for the State submitted that as far as issuance of earlier certificate by the State Government is concerned, the same is of no relevance for the purpose of getting benefit as Persons with Disability (PwD) and only Disability Certificate Centre, as notified, is competent to give certificate to such candidates, who want to claim benefit of reservation.
The State further argued that initially the explanation by the Board Members, did not give complete details, however, on direction given by this Court, now proper medical examination of petitioner has taken place and new finding has been recorded and opinion has also been given.
After taking note of the submissions made by both the parties, the HC bench noted, "the certificate dated 27.12.2021, filed as Annexure-7 with the writ petition, was issued by the Authorities in very casual manner without thorough examination of the petitioner. The Authorities have been negligent in issuing certificate dated 27.12.2021."
"This Court finds that the present case is a classic example of non application of mind by the Authorities, who deal with such an important issue of granting disability certificate. The belief of the Court is forfeited from the fact that direction which was given by this Court for medical examination of the petitioner for the second time also, resulted into issuing the certificate without adhering to the norms, which have been prescribed for considering the eligibility of a candidate," it added.
Referring to the report dated March 29, the bench noted, "The report of the Medical Board dated 29.03.2022 now deals with the specific requirement to consider the eligibility of the petitioner and the requirement of having intact sensation, sufficient strength, range of motion and both hands intact have now been fully considered and the Medical Board has opined accordingly."
At this outset, the bench also perused the Gazette notification dated 13.05.2019 and noted that physical disability has been defined and different types of disabilities include the Locomotor disability.
Further referring to the previous certificate issued by the authorities, the bench noted, "The Authorities who are to examine a candidate for the purpose of locomotor disability, are essentially required to keep in mind the parameters which have been laid down. The Authorities cannot simply say that person is not eligible to get admission as he is suffering from locomotor disability."
Referring to the opinion expressed by the Medical Board in its report dared March 29, the HC bench noted, "This Court, now considering the opinion of the Medical Board vide report dated 29.03.2022, finds that the petitioner is entitled for admission on the basis of reservation provided to the person who has suffered disability and if the petitioner has proper rank and merit for the purpose of admission, he will be permitted to participate in the counselling and he will be granted admission if he fulfills the requisite conditions and merit."
"This Court, as an interim measure, had directed on 16.03.2022 to permit the petitioner to participate in next round of counselling i.e. Mop-up round of counselling in General EWS with PwD Category and his participation was subject to outcome of the writ petition and his admission was not to be final without prior permission of the Court. Since, this Court intends to allow the writ petition, the petitioner will now be entitled to participate in the Mop-up round of counselling or any subsequent counselling, to be conducted by the respondents and his result will be accordingly declared by the Authorities and will be granted admission if falls in merit," the order read.
Further slamming the Authorities in charge of issuing Disability certificates, the bench noted, "This Court before parting with the judgment, deems it proper to observe that the Authorities—Disability Certificate Centre, which have been entrusted with the job of considering eligibility of the candidates, who appear before them, are required to act in proper manner and they are required to adhere to the Gazette Notification, which has been issued and candidature of the candidates should be examined on the same parameters, as enumerated in the Gazette or guidelines issued from time to time."
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.