Depression as Disability: Bombay HC interim relief to candidate in PG Medical Counselling
Mumbai: In a major relief a PG medical aspirant who suffers from anxiety and depression, the Bombay High Court ordered the State Common Entrance Test Cell (CET Cell) to reconsider the eligibility of the student to pursue PG medical course from a state-based medical college.
TOI reports about the case of the petitioner, who completed MBBS from a popular civic-run medical college in Mumbai in 2012. He had applied for a PG medical course under Persons with Disability (PWD) category but was denied admission even though the reports of medical experts stated the student had less than 40% mental health disability.
In response, the student moved the court seeking HC intervention. The PG medical aspirant challenged the regulations framed by the Medical Council of India (MCI) on the ground that they were contrary to the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016.
The petition challenged the legality of the notification dated March 13, 2019, issued by MCI which had amended Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations and made them applicable after admission process for the academic year 2019-20 had already commenced.
The counsel appearing on behalf of the PG medical aspirant notified the HC bench that the student was diagnosed as having mixed anxiety and depressive disorder in 2015. Two years later, he completed his MBBS and also his compulsory internship in February 2019.
It was submitted that for securing admission to Postgraduate medical course under Person with Disability (PWD) Category, the candidate is required to submit a proof of his/her disability by way of a certificate issued by a certificate issuing authority in the year 2019. Accordingly, Grant Medical College’s medical board had issued a certificate dated March 5, 2019, stating the student has a disability range of less than 40% and is eligible for admission to PG medical course.
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The question which was raised in the petition was whether the student, who is suffering from “benchmark disability’, under the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, can be denied admission to a postgraduate medical course under the Act and whether the MCI can water down the provisions of the salutary law by restricting the benefit of reservation in education institutions granted to candidates suffering from such disabilities, reports TOI.
After going through the petition, the HC bench ordered interim relief to the disabled medico on the basis of the medical reports and directed
“… pending hearing and final disposal of the petition, the state CET Cell should “reconsider the petitioner eligible for admission to the postgraduate medical course under persons with disability category.”