Students with thalassaemia to be taken under disability category

| | New Delhi
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Students with thalassaemia to be taken under disability category

Sunday, 22 October 2017 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

The Delhi High Court has come to the rescue of a student suffering from thalassaemia who has sought admission in MBBS course under the disability category in any of  three colleges of the Indraprashtha University( IP). High Court ordered the IP university administration to admit the student.

The court's order came on a plea by the student suffering from the blood disorder, which said thalassemia was one of the disabilities recognised under the statute and he cannot be denied admission under the persons with disabilities (PWD) category.

"The petitioner (student) is entitled to the relief prayed for. He be granted admission in the MBBS course by respondent number 1 (IP University) in any of the three colleges," Justice Indermeet Kaur said in a recent order.

The three medical colleges under the university are Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, North Delhi Municipal Corporation Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital and Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital.

The court said this was a case of a single candidate who alone was deprived of his right of admission in the PWD category for no fault of his.

It noted that the status of the youth was changed from general category to PWD on July 16, 2017 and he had participated in the two rounds of counselling on July 24 and August 12.

"The fact that he was under the bonafide impression that his case was being considered favourably after these rounds of counselling was his rightful expectation of the candidate that he was being considered in the PWD category," it noted.

The court said the submission of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University that there was no category of PWD at the time of second round of counselling was "incorrect" because if the reason was true, then why was the candidate allowed to participate in it.

Thalassaemia, an inherited blood disorder, falls under the category of benchmark disability subsequent to the new Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The new Act has also increased the reservation of persons with disability category from 3 to 5 per cent.

The student said in March this year, he had filled in the form for appearing in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, 2017 under the general category conducted at all-India level and the results were announced on June 23.

However, he came to know later about the new Act and filed an application before the authorities on July 5 to change his category from general to PWD which was accepted, the plea said, adding that his name however did not figure in the PWD category list.

The university told the court that though thalassaemia was now recognised as a disability under the new Act, its hands were tied in the absence of a go-ahead from the Medical Council of India (MCI) to treat a thalassaemia patient as being entitled for admission to the MBBS course.

The MCI told the court that timeline laid down by the Supreme Court for admission to MBBS course has to be followed, for which the last date was August 31 and no one can be admitted after that.

It said the university could not admit a person with a disability of thalassaemia as MCI regulations were yet to come into force.

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