New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Centre and Medical Council of India (MCI) seeking responses on a plea that challenged the government’s recent notification which declared aspirants having a benchmark disability of more than 80 per cent ineligible for admission to MBBS course. Apart from the MCI, the court has sought responses from Ministries of Health and Social Justice and Empowerment in the matter
A division bench of honourable Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao however, refused to stay the notification, saying that no affected persons have approached the court challenging the notification.
The plea was filed by Dr Satendra Singh, an associate professor in the Department of Physiology at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital; after a Gazette of India notification was rolled out by Board of Governors in supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI BoG) on February 2 specifying the eligibility criteria of PwD (Persons with Disabilities) candidates on the basis of their disability.
As per the notification, Divyangs (especially challenged) with more than 80 per cent disability have been barred from pursuing MBBS education. In addition, aspirants having, Dysgraphia had also been prohibited to take up the profession.
The petition claimed that with the notification, persons having one hand amputated cannot pursue MBBS education in India. Dr Singh had contended that the notification has been issued without any application of mind and was “highly irrational, arbitrary and discriminatory”.
The petition also added that according to Section 3(1) it is the duty of respondents to ensure that persons with disabilities shall enjoy the right to equality and life with dignity.
The petitioner further stated in the plea that by preventing a PWBD (person with benchmark disability), having locomotor disability of more than 80 per cent, in participating MBBS examination, respondent, Union Ministry of Health has not only attacked the dignity of PWBD but has also failed to apply the Principle of Equal Opportunity Policy as enshrined under Section 21 of the RPWD Act – 2016.
The petition added that the notification under challenge has also made it mandatory that disabled candidates, selected for admission to medical courses, are required to have a separate disability certificate which would be issued by the Disability Assessment Boards set up at four metro cities.
The petitioner sought to set aside the notification while arguing that the Central government and the MCI have failed to state the legitimate aim which they seek to achieve by making persons having more than 80 per cent disability ineligible from taking MBBS examination.
Now, according to a recent report by ANI, after hearing the submissions made by the counsel acting on behalf of the petitioner, the court questioned MCI:
“How can you debar Divyangs from entering into MBBS course?”
The bench issued the notice to the MCI and the Ministries of Health and Social Justice and Empowerment and sought their replies to the petition by April 4, the next date of hearing.