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SC issues notice to Centre, NMC for barring disabled students from medical courses

SC issues notice to Centre, NMC for barring disabled students from medical courses

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hima Kohli of the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre and the National Medical Commission (NMC) on a plea questioning the validity of a notification barring disabled persons from pursuing medical courses. The court was hearing a petition by Anita Prakash Shinde, a disabled student who cleared NEET-UG but was declared ineligible owing to the NMC notification.

Advocate Gaurav Kumal Bansal, who appears for the petitioners, argued that the NMC is discriminating against the disabled section of society. This is unreasonable, arbitrary and illegal, he said.

"In the present case, the petitioner suffers from locomotor disability to the extent of 57 per cent, and thus as per row 1, column 5 of the appendix H would be eligible for admission in medical courses as well as reservation in the PwD (persons with disability) Quota, but, as per column 3 the person should have 'both hands intact, with intact sensation, sufficient strength and range of motion'," said the plea.

Under the amended regulation, the petitioner was issued a certificate by Assistant Professor, Grant Government Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, Mumbai. It stated that the petitioner suffered from left wrist disarticulation and thereby is not eligible for admission in medical/ dental courses.

A candidate is required to have both hands intact, with intact sensations, sufficient strength and range of motion to be considered eligible for medical courses as per an NMC order dated May 13, 2019. The petitioner argues that "by way of denying her the opportunity of learning medical science due to disability, the authorities discriminated against her, in violation of Section 3 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016".

After the Bombay High Court dismissed her plea on February 8, 2021, the petitioner moved the SC challenging the HC order.

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TAGS:disability ableism Supreme Court of India 
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