SC allows 100% visually impaired to appear in counselling for MD psychiatry

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The Supreme Court has allowed a 100 per cent visually impaired student to appear for counseling for admission to MD psychiatry.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant said: “Issue notice… Pending further orders, the provisional allotment of a seat to the petitioner in the MD Psychiatry course at Topiwala National Medical College, Mumbai, shall not be disturbed to his detriment and the petitioner would be permitted to participate in the ongoing process of counselling.”

The top court order came on a special leave petition filed by Iyer Seetharaman Venugopalan challenging the Bombay High Court order passed on February 2, which declined to entertain the petitioner’s interim prayer to permit him to participate in the counselling process of NEET for postgraduate medical courses.

The petitioner, a young MBBS doctor, was declared ineligible for post-graduate medical course by the Disability Assessment Board due to his disability — 100 per cent impaired vision in both eyes — due to which he was denied admission in the course.

The petitioner, who cleared NEET-PG entrance exam, challenged the decision of the Board in the Bombay High Court along with a challenge to the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations (Amendment) 2019.

These regulations mention that persons with low vision above 40 per cent can be allowed under disability quota subject to condition that visual disability is brought to a level less than benchmark disability of 40 per cent with advanced low vision aids.

The petitioner claimed these regulations violated fundamental rights, and they are not backed by any expert input and that it does not consider functional abilities on a case to case basis in respect of each discipline or medical field.

Senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, assisted by a team of advocates from Karanjawala and Co., appeared for the petitioner.

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