Updated: January 18, 2021 1:00:27 am
The Bombay High Court recently directed the Union Ministry of Health, the National Medical Commission (NMC) and the Maharashtra government to respond to a plea by a student with an amputated upper limb, who approached the court alleging discrimination, as she was not allowed to pursue a medical course on the grounds of her disability.
The student, Anita Shinde, has claimed that in the past, many like her had got admission to such courses and she being denied the same opportunity was arbitrary.
A division bench of Justice S C Gupte and Justice S P Tavade was hearing the petition filed by Shinde on January 13. Her lawyer Gaurav Bansal informed the HC that Shinde had appeared for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam in 2020 and secured 60.64 per cent marks.
Following this, she had applied for admission in an undergraduate medical course.
Bansal added that as per the 2019 notification of the Medical Council of India (now known as National Medical Commission), having an upper limb disability made Shinde eligible for admission under the persons with disability quota, which she availed.
Bansal said that while the commissioner of the Disability Welfare Commission had directed the Disability Assessment Board – which had certified that Shinde was ineligible for admission – to consider her disability with necessary assistive devices, the board did not pay heed to the same, prompting the petitioner to move HC.
After hearing the submissions, the bench sought responses from the respondents within a week. “The NMC is expected to remain present through authorised representative or counsel on the next date, since the issue is of some urgency,” the court noted while posting the matter for further hearing on January 20.
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