NEET PG Entrance: Delhi HC Directs AIIMS To Constitute Expert Panel To Reassess MBBS Doctor Disability

The Delhi High Court directed the AIIMS to constitute a board of three experts in the relevant field to assess the petitioner's disability.

Representative Image (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court directed the Director of All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to constitute a board of three experts in the relevant field to assess the petitioner’s (an MBBS Doctor) disability, who was recently declared as ineligible to study medical science.

The Petitioner, Dr Laxmi, a divyang doctor has approached Delhi High Court through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, wherein she has challenged the Disability Certificate dated August 25 this year of the medical board of VMMC Safdarjung college declaring her unfit to study medical science.

The bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula on Thursday dated September 1, 2022, said it would be appropriate to have a second opinion in respect of the petitioner’s disability.

Justice Narula directed the Director of AIIMS, Delhi to constitute a board of three experts in the relevant field to assess the petitioner’s disability and specifically discern whether she would be able to perform the functions expected from a post-graduate specialist doctor and submit a detailed report to the Court in a sealed cover on or before the next date of hearing.

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Court also said, while assessing the petitioner’s disability, the board shall take into consideration the contentions raised by counsel for the parties as well as the guidelines/ notification dated 13th March 2019.

Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal appeared for Dr Laxmi submitted that despite being a person with benchmark disability under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, she has been declared ineligible to pursue the post-graduate level medical course, on the basis of a certificate of disability for NEET admissions dated 25th August 2022, issued by Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi whereby she has been certified as a person with 100% disability.

Adv Gaurav Kumar Bansal, counsel for Petitioner, submits that due to the afore-noted assessment, the petitioner has been unfairly disallowed to seek admission in the concerned course, as her disability is shown to be more than 80%.

He further argued that VMMC Safdarjung college has failed to appreciate the notification dated 13th March, 2019 issued by the National Medical Commission (NMC) whereunder persons with more than 80% disability can be permitted on a case-to-case basis and their functional competency, in such cases, will be determined with the aid of an assisted device, if used, to see whether the disability can be brought below 80 per cent.

Petitioner alleged that VMMC Safdarjung college did not allow her to wear calliper during assessment and thus determination of functional disability, without aid of assistive device, is incorrect.

Advocate T. Singhdev, counsel for NMC, has drawn the attention of the Court to the guidelines regarding admission of students with specified disabilities for matters relating to admission in postgraduate courses in modern medicine.

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Adv Singhdev argued that the extent of specified disability in a person with a disability (PwD) has to be assessed in accordance with prescribed guidelines and if Petitioner’s case was to be covered under specified locomotor disabilities on the ground of Poliomyelitis, “both hands should be intact, with intact sensations, sufficient strength and range of motion” in order to be eligible for admission to said course.

Observing the seriousness of the case, Delhi High Court has directed AIIMS to do a reassessment of Dr Laxmi disability while issuing notice to all respondents listing the matter for September 14, 2022.