Thalassemia student emerges victorious in legal battle for medical seat at IP university
The Delhi High Court has passed a directive to the government-run Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University to admit a student suffering from thalassemia on the basis of the new Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 in its MBBS course.
GGSIPU had taken a decision to refrain from granting admission to Digant Jain in August this year, despite the Supreme Court observing that “it is the duty of every institution to extend helping hand in its command to the disabled persons” and ordering Chhattisgarh to constitute a medical board to examine the case of thalassaemia patient, Sruchi Rathore who was denied admission in a medical course.
Justice Indermeet Kaur of the Delhi High Court also took note of this case before pronouncing her decision in the GGSIPU case.
Jain had moved the Delhi high court for relief stating that he was a thalassemia patient and a person with a disability as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. He clarified that he had appeared in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) examination and qualified in March 2017 in the general category, and therefore should rightfully be given admission under the new Disabilities Act.
On August 28, the High Court stated that at the time of the petitioner having appeared for the examination, the new Act had not come into being. The new Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, which was promulgated in December 2016, was notified in April 2017.
However, the petitioner on hearing about the new disability Act decided to approach the court for justice; which as luck would have it stood in his favour, as Jain had applied for a change from the general category to the persons with disabilities category. This was granted to him, as the NEET result pronounces him which in the persons with disabilities category.
When the counselling session ended on August 28, GGSIPU – pointed out that while Jain already attended counselling sessions scheduled for July 23, August 12 and August 28, there were no MBBS seats available in any of the colleges of the respondent university.
While taking on record the order of the Supreme Court in the Sruchi Rathore versus Union of India and others case, Justice Kaur noted “with pain that all this has happened for the fault” of the respondent, who despite knowing that the petitioner was a person with disability, did not abide by existing legal regulations.
The high court also took notice of the submission of other respondents, stating “all persons holding PWD certificate shall be eligible for reservation in Delhi as also for sets outside Delhi in terms of the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.”
In its order, the court announced that the status of the petitioner changed from the general category to the persons with disabilities category on July 16. It also observed that the petitioner was successful in both rounds of counselling that took place on July 24 and August 12.
“The fact that he was under the bonafide impression that his case was being considered favorably after these rounds of counselling was his rightful expectation of the candidate that he was being considered in the persons with disabilities category,” Justice Kaur held.
She also stated that the submission of the university that there were no persons with disabilities category at the time of the second round of counselling is incorrect. If that had been true said the judge the petitioner would not have been allowed to participate in the second round of counselling.
The High Court also upheld that the petitioner had participated in the mop-up counselling held on August 28, the schedule for which was notified on August 23.
Keeping the above facts in mind the court held that the petitioner was entitled to the relief he asked for and directed the university to provide him admission in any of its 3 colleges in an MBBS course reports the Wire.