The Supreme Court has issued a directive to the Chattisgarh Government to consider a Thalassemia patient for a medical seat under the Disability Quota.
The bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Deepak Mishra on August 11 ordered the Chattisgarh Government to constitute a Medical Board within two days, to undergo an examination of the candidate suffering from Thalassemia, a benchmark disability, under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, for the Disability Quota for granting of admission in any of the medical streams.
The 2016 Disability Act allows for 5% reservation for individuals with benchmark disability. “The said statutory command, needless to say, has to be followed in letter and spirit”, the order of the bench noted. Describing the 2016 Act as a legislation of great welfare measures, the Court said it was everyone’s duty to see that the provisions were carried out swiftly.The bench also gave directions that the results of her medical examinations by the board be produced in court, before 18th August.
The court was of the opinion that if the petitioner cleared the criterion as per the 2016 Act, her case be put up for consideration.
“It is the duty of every institution to extend a helping hand in its command to the disabled persons”, the order of the bench emphasized.
The petitioner, is a resident of Raipur, and holder of the 6th position in the physically handicapped category for the state of Chhattisgarh. The candidate had appeared for the NEET 2017 examination, held in May.
The 2016 Act, which has broadened base with the word ‘disability’ includes more classes and cases of disability, today. Section 2(r) defines “person with benchmark disability” to be a person with not less than 40 % of a specified disability.
Specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with disability, where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority.
Section 2(s) defines “person with disability” as a person with long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which, in interaction with barriers, hinders his full and effective participation in society equally with others.
Section 32 (1) of the Act calls for all Government institutions of higher education and other institutions to receive aid from the Government, to reserve not less than five per cent seats, for persons with benchmark disabilities.
Whereas, Section 32(2) calls for an upper age relaxation of 5 years for admission in institutions of higher education, for persons with benchmark disabilities.
Interestingly, the Chhattisgarh Government does not recognize the disorders under the category of disability, and therefore, disallowed the petitioner an admission just as it did other similarly situated disabled persons.
The petitioner revealed in court that such differently-abled students are unable to get a disability certificate, in order to avail the benefit of reservations, provided under the Act.