Disabled person barred from MBBS; SC seeks Centre reply

SC seeks Centre reply on plea against order barring persons with upper limb disabilities from medical courses

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hima Kohli issued notice to the Union government, the NMC and others on a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal

Supreme Court of India. Credit: Reuters File Photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre and the National Medical Commission to respond to a plea questioning the validity of a notification which barred a disabled person from pursuing medical courses.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hima Kohli issued notice to the Union government, the NMC and others on a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal on behalf of Anita Prakash Shinde, a disabled student, who cleared NEET-UG but due to NMC notification she was declared ineligible to pursue the medical course.

The notification issued on May 13, 2019 says that a candidate is required to have both hands intact, with intact sensations, sufficient strength and range of motion to be considered eligible for medical course.

The petitioner claimed by 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. Her plea called the order as "unreasonable, arbitrary and illegal".

She challenged the Bombay High Court's order which dismissed her plea on February 8, 2021.

Her counsel contended that Dr Sanjay Wadhwa, an expert member of AIIMS, Delhi while holding that persons having upper limb disabilities are not eligible to pursue medical education has given 'contrary opinions' on the same issue and that too not once but thrice.

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