Kolkata: A 20-year old MBBS aspirant, suffering from schizophrenia, who was earlier denied admission at NRS Medical College and Hospital has now been given relief by the High Court.
The Court asked the college to pay compensation of Rs 3 lakh and directed the Health University to admit him to its affiliated NRS Medical College in the coming academic year.
The case concerned Tathagata Ghosh who cracked the NEET 2018 Examination. He secured the pan-India rank of 420 under the disabled category and appeared for counseling. After the counseling, he appeared for another examination at the IPGMER. He was then selected for the MBBS course at the NRS Medical College and Hospital.
He obtained a disability certificate by the Howrah District Hospital, which diagnosed him to have over 40% disability. The certificate mentioned him to be suffering from schizoaffective disorder.
The college, however, refused to give him admission because of the ailment. In August last year, he requested the university administration to allow him the admission but it did not respond to the appeal. The aspirant, then, moved to the High Court.
The Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) and Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines were cited for taking the decision.
In November last year, Justice Arindam Sinha had ruled that the boy could not be denied admission as the university rules did not prevent persons suffering from schizophrenia from studying for an MBBS Course. It was directed to the college to grant him the admission.
The University then moved to the division bench of Justices Harish Tandon and Subhasis Dasgupta challenging the given order by Justice Sinha.
The university submitted its side in front of the bench where it mentioned that a person suffering from schizophrenia should not be allowed to become doctor keeping in mind “the safety of the patients he would treat.”
The advocate from the university’s side stated, “Schizophrenia is a kind of mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. A patient of schizophrenia at times loses touch with reality. So, a person suffering from this ailment can’t be allowed to treat patients,” quotes the Telegraph.
The lawyer, from the student’s side, said that the aspirant had already lost an academic year because of the university’s refusal to abide by Justice Sinha’s order.
The bench heard both the side and passed a judgment where it upheld the previous order in this regard. It ordered the University to offer admission in the MBBS course at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in the academic year 2019-20. It criticized the University for not obeying the previous order. It further directed the compensation of Rs 3 lakh for a lost academic year.
Overwhelmed with the judgment given by the High Court, Ghosh told the TOI, “I had trust in the high court.”
“Doctors or medical practitioners should be on the forefront to create awareness on mental illness, helping disabled people integrate with the mainstream. However, they are the ones stalling it,” he further added.