Aurangabad: While considering a plea by an MBBS aspirant with locomotor disability, who had been deemed unfit for studying medical education, the Bombay High Court recently ordered his medical re-examination and directed the All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIIPMR) to conduct the same.
The concerned student does not have five fingers to his right hand even though his left hand is normal and without any disability. However, he had been disqualified for MBBS admission by the Medical Board of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
His disability is calculated at 60% by Grant Government Medical College and Sir J.J. Group of Hospitals, which is the MCI Medical Board comprising of three senior Professors from the Departments of Orthopedic, Medicine and Neurology. They have issued a certificate of disability for NEET admission dated 04.10.2022 declaring the present petitioner Ajinkya Ankush Budle not eligible to pursue the medical course as per the NMC norms.
Challenging this decision the student approached the Bombay High Court bench comprising of Justices Sanjay A Deshmukh and Ravindra V Ghuge. Perusing the Medical Council of India's guidelines for MBBS admission of persons with specified disabilities, the bench noted that as per Chapter II. Clause 9vi) of Chapter II, candidates having locomotor disability can be eligible for MBBS admission if there is involvement of a single upper limb which is the DOMINANT UPPER LIMB (which is right upper limb in a majority of persons) to an extent that the candidate has loss of thumb, cannot hold an object satisfactorily, would not be eligible for the medical course.
In this context, the counsel for the petitioner student insisted that the candidate has a normal well developed left hand as his dominant upper limb and the palm of the right hand, which does not have any finger, can also be used.
Referring to this, the petitioner claimed that he has perfectly developed his left hand as a dominant upper limb. It was further argued by the petitioner student that there is no rule that every right hand of each person would always be treated as dominant upper limb. Even the M.C.I. guidelines states that this would be a normal conclusion, submitted the petitioner's counsel.
Besides, the petitioner also submitted that he has appeared for all his examinations from the age he entered the school till his examination of 12th standard. The counsel for the petitioner argued that the dominant upper limb in the case of the petitioner is his left hand. Referring to clause (vi) below Chapter II, the petitioner's counsel contended that he would be exempted from the disqualification since his dominant upper limb is perfectly normal.
Considering the submissions, the bench noted, "It is in these peculiar circumstances, that we have referred to a list of disability certification centers which can issue the disability certificates as per the NMC norms to the "Persons with Disability" (PwD) (to the candidates) to seek admission to the UG/PG courses in the medical faculty. At Sr. No.5, we find the Grant Government Medical College as an authorized center for all disabilities. However, at Sr. No.2, we find a dedicated center for Locomotor Disability only, which is 'All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation' (AIIPMR), Mumbai."
Allowing the petitioner student with a chance of medical re-examination, the bench further noted, "As such, we find some hope in favour of the petitioner Ajinkya keeping in view that his left hand has become his dominant upper limb and clause (vi) of the guidelines would exclude him from disqualification. Therefore, we deem it appropriate to refer the case of the petitioner Ajinkya to AIIPMR for re-medical examination."
"In view of above, we direct respondent No.5 to intimate the AIIPMR to conduct a medical examination of the petitioner Ajinkya Ankush Budle on 19.10.2022 at 12.00 noon. The petitioner as well as the learned A.G.P. would place a copy of this order alongwith the earlier certificate of disability for NEET admissions, issued by the Grant Government Medical College, before the competent Board of AIIPMR," further read the judgment.
"We request respondent No.5 State as well as the AIIPMR to send it's report by E-mail to the office of the Chief Government Pleader up to 5.00 p.m. on 20.10.2022," it added.
To view the order, click on the link below.
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