Explore possibility of physically disabled pursuing some medical disciplines: Delhi HC tells Centre

Education


The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Centre and National Medical Commission to explore within six months the possibility of candidates with physical disabilities, who are unable to pursue the MBBS course but are otherwise meritorious, being able to pursue some of the disciplines of medical education given the advances in science and technology.

The order was passed by a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi while hearing a petition filed by an MBBS aspirant with a ‘locomotor disability (disability of the bones, joints, or muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy) concerning her admission to the MBBS course.

The bench, also comprising Justice Navin Chawla, refused to grant any relief to the petitioner, who suffered from the amputation of the thumb, index finger, and part of the middle finger of her right hand, in view of the report of an expert body opining that the petitioner was not fit.

The court stated that it cannot ‘sit in appeal over the opinion’ of the experts and it was ‘unfortunate that the petitioner who appears to be meritorious cannot pursue the course on account of her physical handicap” but asked the authorities to look into the aspect of candidates such as the petitioner undertaking some disciplines of medical education if not all.

“In view of the report of the committee, we find ourselves unable to grant any relief to the petitioner.. for the reason that the assessment of the petitioner with regard to her ability to undertake the MBBS course and service as a doctor has to be left to the experts which has been done by experts from AIIMS,” the court said.

“At the same time, we direct the respondents to explore the possibility of candidates such as the petitioner being able to pursue some of the disciplines, if not all, of medical education, considering the advances in science and technology. Let the aspect be considered by respondent no 5 (National Medical Commission) in consultation with the centre in the next six months,” it ordered.

In the present case, the medical board of experts from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital concluded that the petitioner was not eligible for admission to the medical course, and the extent of her locomotor disability was assessed to be at 49%. 

The court had thereafter subjected the petitioner to another medical examination by experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. 

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