Nation Current Affairs 30 May 2019 Visually impaired me ...

Visually impaired med aspirant gets reprieve

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | J STALIN
Published May 30, 2019, 4:07 am IST
Updated May 30, 2019, 4:07 am IST
Stating that the benefit of the relief given by the single judge to allot a seat to Vibin shall be given effect to for the academic year 2019-2020.
Madras high court
 Madras high court

Chennai: Madras high court directed the authorities to allot a medical seat to a minor student with more than 40 % visual impairment. The court pointed out that the notification issued by the Medical Council of India dated February 4, 2019 making persons with visual impairment of low vision and blindness equivalent to or more than 40 per cent ineligible to join the medical course, would operate prospectively and it cannot be given effect to retrospectively.

Dismissing the appeals filed by the state government and the Government Pudukottai Medical College Hospital in Pudukottai, a division bench comprising Justices Pushpa Sathyanarayana and T.Krishnavalli gave the directive and upheld an order passed by the single judge, directing the authorities to allot a medical seat to J.Vibin of Tirunelveli.

 

Stating that the benefit of the relief given by the single judge to allot a seat to Vibin shall be given effect to for the academic year 2019-2020, the bench directed the Selection Committee to pass appropriate orders in this regard immediately.

"Before parting with this matter, this court places on record its appreciation to the efforts put forth by Vibin to become a medical practitioner. Indeed, his tireless efforts are laudable and surely deserve appreciation. This court wishes Vibin to come up with flying colours in his endeavours", the bench added.

 

Vibin is a physically challenged student, having benchmark disability of visually impairment to an extent of 75 % as per certificate issued to him by the Government of Tamil Nadu. He has secured the requisite marks in the qualifying examinations and participated in NEET examination. Thereafter, through online counselling, he got selected and allotted to the Government Pudukottai Medical College Hospital.

When he went to the college, he was asked to produce Disability Certificate from one of the Disability Assessment Boards. Accordingly, he appeared before Special Medical Board (Madras Medical College) and it was certified that he was suffering from visual impairment to an extent of 90 % and hence he was not eligible for admission in Medical/Dental Courses as per MCI norms. He was denied medical seat in the college. Aggrieved, he approached the high court and a single judge had allowed the petition. Assailing the same, the state government and the college filed the present appeals.

 

Dismissing the appeals, the bench said Vibin was suffering from not less than 40 percent of specified disability, which means, he was a person with benchmark disability. According to the senior counsel for the petitioner, since Vibin was suffering from benchmark disability, he was entitled to claim a seat out of five percent seats, which ought to have been reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities, the bench added.

The bench said a similar question as to whether a person with benchmark disability of low vision can be denied the benefit of reservation for admission to the MBBS medical course came for consideration before the Supreme Court.  As the recommendation of the committee formed by the MCI was not given statutory effect and the amendment proposed was only at secretariat level, the Supreme Court held that the petitioner therein cannot be denied of medical admission. Placing reliance on the provision (5 percent reservation) and the judgment of the apex court, the single judge passed the order. However, subsequently, the MCI brought an amendment by which the persons with 40 percent or more visual impairment were not eligible to join a medical course.  The MCI issued the notification on February 4, 2019 in which it was stated that they shall come into force from the date of the notification. Hence, it goes without saying the notification would operate prospectively and it cannot be given effect to retrospectively, the bench added and gave the above directive.

 

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