The Supreme Court has given a go-ahead for admission of two students with Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) to MBBS course in Tripura. The Medical Council of India (MCI) had earlier expressed reservations about their admission.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar ruled in favour of the students after an expert committee, appointed by the court to go into various aspects of the issue, suggested against debarring them.
The committee’s report drew a distinction between “colour blindness” and “CVD”, and concluded that “in this context, colour blindness has been dealt with adequately as an impediment, but Colour Vision Deficiency does to have any embargo of any type whatsoever”.
The court directed Pranay Kumar Podder and another person be admitted for MBBS in 2018-19 academic year.
The MCI also came around and said that a “person suffering from CVD shall be permitted…to undertake the examination and be admitted to MBBS course”.
MCI counsel Vikas Singh, however, submitted that “certain guidelines are required to be framed in accordance with the report of the committee for controlling specialty and super-specialty courses as far as this category (people with CVD) is concerned”. Singh also said that there will be some guidelines on which areas of medicine they can practice.
Notwithstanding the objections to their admission, the court exercised its jurisdiction under Article 142, which allows it to “pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it”. The order stressed that the court was using its power under Article 142 in view of the “peculiar facts and circumstance of the case”.
The two were disqualified at the stage of counselling in 2015, as they suffered from partial colour blindness. The duo moved the Tripura High Court, where the MCI pointed out that in 2004, it had laid down that students admitted to MBBS courses must be able to identify the three primary colours.
The counsel for the petitioners pointed out that there was a difference between colour blindness and CVD.