Delhi High Court orders to set up a panel to see if disable students can study MBBS

The Delhi High Court Thursday ordered the setting up of another committee headed by AIIMS doctors and experts to examine if students with hearing impairment and dyslexia are eligible to pursue MBBS/BDS courses and determine the percentage of disability.

The order comes after two cases came up for hearing before two HC benches, one of a student with dyslexia and another student who is hearing impaired — who were denied admission to medical colleges.

In the first case, a bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice A K Chawla directed the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to allow the student with dyslexia to participate in the admission counselling process to enroll for graduate medical courses.

“In the meanwhile, expert opinion from a team of doctors (comprising three senior members of the Psychiatry/Neurology department…, excluding the expert, who co-authored or was part of the committee which issued the report in the present case) may be constituted by Director, AIIMS, to examine the petitioner (Devrrat Purang),” said the bench.

Backing the direction of Justice Bhat and Justice Chawla, another bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna said the experts shall furnish a report on the two aspects for the hearing-impaired student. The girl has got admission in a medical college, following orders issued by an HC single judge bench. The MCI challenged the decision.

Both benches sought expert opinion on “the extent of the disability with percentage, if any; if yes, if it is within the benchmark of the disabilities Act; and whether the petitioners, with the kind of disability he/she is suffering, is fit to undertake the MBBS course”.

Purang moved the court, alleging that his disability (dyslexia) has not resulted in palpable benefits — despite being classified by the Parliament in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

He complained that his candidature for a medical seat, under the 5% reservation for Persons with Disability (PwD), has not been accepted.

MCI counsel T Singhdev submitted to Justice Bhat and Justice Chawla that the relief sought is similar to what was asked before the Bombay High Court, which had rejected the claim on the ground that there is no method for quantifying the extent of learning disability.

However, he told the court that the apex court, in another matter, had taken a more nuanced approach in the context of another disability (low vision). “The apex court had ordered setting up of an expert committee to look into whether the petitioner… is fit to undertake the MBBS course,” Singhdev submitted.

The High Court ordered the same in these two cases and sought the expert opinion within a week.

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