Months after a Patiala student was admitted to a government medical college for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course, the Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered cancellation of the admission.
The student who had sought admission on a certificate declaring him 40% disabled was later examined by a board of doctors of three medical colleges of Punjab, followed by an expert committee of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), which gave findings against the admission.
According to rules, before a student is given admission under the disabled category, the candidate has to be found medically fit by the medical board comprising orthopaedic heads of three medical colleges of Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot. It is only the disability of lower limb, which has to be considered for the purpose of locomotor disability (disability of the bones, joints or muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy), which should be between 60% and 70% and in case, candidates are not available, the said disability can be reduced to 40% to 50%.
The petitioner had appeared in the Pre-Medical Entrance Test-2015 organised by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot. He appeared in the orthopaedically handicapped category and secured ninth rank. He participated in online counselling and was allotted a seat at Government Medical College, Amritsar.
The seat was allotted on the basis of a certificate issued in February 2015 by the civil surgeon, Patiala, wherein the candidate was declared 40% physically disabled of permanent nature. The petitioner approached the high court on September 24 when his admission was not confirmed. The admission was later given on court directions.
Subsequently, the BFUHS maintained that seats were allotted subject to fitness and that a board consisting of orthopaedics department heads examined the student and found him medically unfit “due to involvement of the deformity of the upper limb”, but recommended further evaluation.
Later, the PGI board said the percentage of his handicap was only 25% and “non-progressive”, but the candidate was fit to carry on studies.
The high court bench held that it was only the disability of lower limb that had to be considered for the purpose of locomotor disability, which should be between 60% and 70% and in case, candidates were not available the said disability could be reduced to 40% to 50%. “Hence, looking from any angle, there is no error in the order of the respondents, holding the petitioner ineligible for admission,” the high court bench of justice RK Jain said, ordering cancellation of the admission.
The student approached the division bench against the order on April 12, which has sought response from various parties by April 23, but has not stayed the single-judge order.