MBBS aspirant with amputated arm denied admission: HC directs to implead DU
New Delhi: While considering a plea filed by a medical aspirant for MBBS admission under PWD category, the Delhi High Court has recently instructed the Petitioner student to implead the Delhi University regarding the matter.
Such direction came from the Delhi High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, after Advocate Abhijit Chakravarty, appearing for the Government, submitted that the Delhi University would be the implementing authority in the matter as the student concerned had secured a seat in one of the colleges affiliated to the Delhi University. The matter, which has been adjourned, would now be heard on September 17.
Medical Dialogues had previously reported that a medical aspirant with an amputated left arm had moved the Delhi High Court challenging a certificate, which barred her from taking admission in medical courses under the disability category.
Despite being a very good student, in order to secure MBBS admission in Medical courses in All India Quota, she was required to obtain a certificate of disability as per the Medical Council of India gazette notification dated February 5, 2019, and May 14, 2019.
The petitioner approached Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi to obtain the certificate.
A certificate of Disability was issued by Safdarjung Hospital on November 11, 2020, wherein disability was specified as 'left congenital Transverse deficiency of elbow' with a percentage of 65 percent.
"This comes within the range specified in the amended general medical admission regulation of 1997 (As per the regulation the disability has to be within the range of 40-80 percent). However, the concerned authority in the hospital concluded that petitioner is not eligible for admission in medical/ dental course as per MCI gazette notification subject to being otherwise medically fit due to upper limb Involvement," the plea had stated.
As a result, the petitioner even after passing the medical entrance test, was not able to get admission in the allotted college, mentioned the plea, adding that the petitioner was informed by the college that she should take the admission by November 16, 2020, after submitting the required documents with the college.
Thus the petitioner challenged the General Medical Admission Regulation, 1997 which mentioned that both the hands of the candidate should be "intact, with intact sensations, sufficient strength and range of motion" to be considered eligible for medical courses.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, Advocate Mrinal Gopal Elker, the counsel appearing on the behalf of the petitioner claimed that a barring admission to patients with specified benchmark disability is 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.
"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," pointed out the counsel for the petitioner.
Further emphasizing the need for a level playing field for all citizens, and having giving equal opportunities to all citizens so that they become able to realize their full potential, the counsel for the petitioner referred to the direction given by the Apex Court in Sunanda Bhandare Foundation v. Union of India (2017).
Besides, the petition also referred to the Supreme Court judgment in case of Muskan Abdul Rahim Shaikh v. State. of Gujarat & Ors., SLP No. 24524/2018. In that case, the top court had directed admitting a candidate with similar disability.
"It must be mentioned that the order was directed not be treated as precedent and has been cited only as an illustration," the plea pointed out.
Meanwhile, Advocate Indrajit Sinha, another counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the Supreme Court in the case of Vikash Kumar v. Union Public Service Commission had held that "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."
The counsel appearing on the behalf of the Government, Advocate Abhijit Chakravarty pointed out the implementing authority in this case is Delhi University as the college where the petitioner student had secured a seat for admission is affiliated to DU.
After listening to these contentions, the Delhi High Court adjourned the matter till September 17 and gave liberty to the petitioner student to implead DU.