New Delhi: In direction bringing respite to two meritorious physically-handicapped students, who were denied MBBS admission despite qualifying NEET; the Supreme Court has directed the Haryana government to grant these candidates their well-earned MBBS admission in a Government Medical College in the academic session of next year.
Medical dialogues had recently reported about the case where the apex court was hearing the appeals filed by the MBBS applicants, Parmod (hearing disability), and Sachin (locomotor disability).
The court noted that these MBBS applicants were to be admitted in the physically handicapped category in medical colleges, but were denied admissions by the state government considering the recommendations made by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
Before knocking the doors of the apex court, the candidates had approached the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. However, the High Court did not grant them admission in MBBS as the seats were filled for academic session 2018-19 and the seats reserved for the physically handicapped category were also converted to general categories and filled.
During the Supreme Court hearing, the advocate, appearing for the MBBS students, presented, “The Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict of September 5 had failed to grant the MBBS admission for academic session 2018-19 under the physically handicapped category in Haryana State Counselling seats despite their eligibility in terms of their rank in National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2018 under the category and as per the reservation policy for such persons.”
The apex court observed that before this case too, several MBBS candidates with disabilities were denied admissions this year, due to ‘Guidelines for Persons With Specified Disabilities’ which were framed in June by the committee on disability constituted by the apex medical education regulator. Consequently, it noted,
“It is not disputed that as per merit, the appellants were required to be given admission in the physically handicapped category. They were not given the admission in view of the recommendations given by the Medical Council of India (MCI). However, the regulations framed by the MCI adopts the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016(RPWD).”
While reaching the decision, the apex court relied upon its earlier judgment, in which it has stated, “Statutory provisions have to prevail over the recommendations made by the Committee as the recommendations made have not taken statutory shape so far.”
In its conclusion, the court directed that as the seats for physically handicapped students were handed over to the general category students this year, the seats of that category shall accordingly be reduced for the next academic session 2019-2020, and stated,
“Though appellants were entitled for admission in the MBBS course, but now as all the seats have been filled, the appellants have been illegally deprived of the admission. As such, we direct that the appellants be admitted in the next year, in MBBS course and in a government medical college as the seats of handicapped have been handed over to the general category, the seats of that category shall be reduced for the next academic session 2019-2020.”