Bombay high court. (HT FILE)
Bombay high court. (HT FILE)

Explain why disabled student not admitted for medical course: Bombay HC

The Bombay high court (HC) has directed the Union of India (UoI), National Medical Commission (NMC) and the state, to respond to a petition filed by a student with a non-dominant amputated upper limb, alleging discrimination after she was not allowed to pursue a medical science course on the grounds of her disability.
By K A Y Dodhiya, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 12:31 AM IST

The Bombay high court (HC) has directed the Union of India (UoI), National Medical Commission (NMC) and the state, to respond to a petition filed by a student with a non-dominant amputated upper limb, alleging discrimination after she was not allowed to pursue a medical science course on the grounds of her disability. The aspiring student has claimed that in the past students like her have got admitted to such courses, hence the denial to her was arbitrary. The matter will be heard on January 20.

A division bench of justice SC Gupte and justice SP Tavade, while hearing the petition filed by Anita Shinde, was informed by advocate Gaurav Bansal that his client had appeared for the 2020 National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and had secured 60.64%, hence applied for admission to the undergraduate (UG) medical course under the person with disability reservation. Bansal submitted that as per a 2019 notification of the Medical Council of India, Shinde who has an upper limb disability was deemed to be eligible for admission.

Bansal submitted that though the commissioner of the Disability Welfare Commission had directed the Disability Assessment Board, which termed Shinde to be ineligible for admission to the UG medical course, to consider the disability of the petitioner with necessary assistive devices and thereafter make the decision, the board had not paid heed and refused her admission to a seat in the medical course. Aggrieved by the discriminatory conduct of the board and denial of a seat she had approached the HC.

Shinde’s petition further pointed out that the NMC had issued a notification in 2019, which enumerated technical standards that disabled students had to fulfil to be eligible for admission to a medical course. The petition states that as the notification was based on outdated standards which were being followed in the USA in 1979, the standards mentioned in the notification did not align with existing standards and hence the notification should be set aside.

After hearing the submissions, the court sought to know the stand of the UoI, NMC and state and asked them to respond within a week and posted the hearing of the petition on January 20.

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