August 28, 2018
In this recent case, the Supreme Court Bench has made a remarkable judgment by holding that candidates with specified benchmark low visibility cannot be denied reservation in MBBS Course.
Case name: Purswani Ashutosh (Minor) Through Dr. Kamlesh Virumal Purswani v. Union of India
The seminal issue that fell for consideration of the Supreme Court in the case was whether a person with benchmark disability of low vision, within the meaning of Section 2(r), read with Clause 1B of the Schedule, of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (2016 Act) can be denied the benefit of reservation for admission to the MBBS Medical Course?
The petitioner who suffers from a specified disability “low vision” appeared in the NEET (UG) Examination as a candidate of the physically handicapped category. The Petitioner secured rank 419 in the physically handicapped category. Aggrieved by the refusal of the concerned respondents to give the petitioner the benefit of reservation for the physically disabled, the petitioner approached the Supreme Court alleging discrimination and arbitrariness.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) in the case contended that an Expert Committee formed by MCI had opined that persons with visual impairment of 40 per cent or more could not be admitted to the undergraduate medical course i.e. the MBBS course.
The Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court made an order in favour of the Petitioner in view of the following observations made in the case:
- That the 2016 Act, in particular Section 32 read with the Medical Education Regulations clearly provides for reservation of seats in the MBBS Course for persons like the petitioner with specified benchmark disability of low vision.
- That in view of the fact that the Medical Education Regulations which incorporate the provisions of the 2016 Act in relation to reservation to higher educational institutions, have statutory force and are binding on the MCI.
In view of the aforesaid, the Supreme Court held that the petitioner cannot be denied admission to the MBBS course if he qualifies as per his merit in the category of Persons with Disability. Accordingly, the Apex Court directed that the Petitioner was found to be entitled to admission, he shall be given admission in the current academic year 2018-19.
The entire case can be accessed here.