SC notice on plea against notification barring disabled from medical courses

The Supreme Court has issued notice to Centre and the National Medical Commission (NMC) on a plea questioning the validity of a notification which barred a disabled person from pursuing medical courses.

Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, appearing for a petitioner, argued that the NMC, by prohibiting disabled students, are doing discrimination with the disabled section of the society, which is unreasonable, arbitrary, and illegal.

After hearing arguments, a bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Hima Kohli issued notice to the Union government, the NMC and others, on a petition by Anita Prakash Shinde, a disabled student, who cleared NEET-UG but due to the NMC notification, was declared ineligible to pursue the medical course.

“In the present case, the petitioner suffers from locomotor disability to the extent of 57 per cent and thus as per row 1, column 5 of the appendix H would be eligible for admission in medical courses as well as reservation in the PwD (persons with disability) Quota, but, as per column 3 the person should have ‘both hands intact, with intact sensation, sufficient strength and range of motion’,” said the plea.

According to the plea, in a certificate allegedly issued in exercise of powers under the amended regulation, by Assistant Professor, Grant Government Medical College and Sir J.J. Group of Hospitals, Mumbai, the petitioner has been stated to be suffering from “left wrist disarticulation” and thus has been stated to be “not eligible” for admission in medical/dental courses.

According to a notification issued on May 13, 2019, a candidate is required to have both hands intact, with intact sensations, sufficient strength and range of motion to be considered eligible for medical courses. The petitioner contended “by way of denying her the opportunity of learning medical science due to disability, the authorities discriminated against her, in violation of Section 3 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016”.

The petitioner moved the top court challenging the Bombay High Court order which dismissed her plea on February 8, 2021.



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