A medical aspirant suffering from thalassemia who cleared NEET has not secured admission under the disability quota in Chhattisgarh because the state does not recognise the disorder under the category that provides for reservation for the physically handicapped.
The girl has now knocked at the doors of the Supreme Court, which on Friday ordered the state government to constitute a medical board within two days to examine the candidate after she claimed that thalassemia is a benchmark disability under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, under the disability quota for admission to any medical stream.
“It is the duty of every institution to extend helping hand in its command to the disabled persons,” the SC bench headed by justice Dipak Misra emphasised in its order. “The said statutory command, needless to say, has to be followed in letter and spirit”, the bench said, underlining the 2016 legislation under which 5% of seats for persons with benchmark disability are required to be reserved. The legislation is a welfare measure and it’s the duty of everyone to see the provisions are carried out with quite promptitude.
The bench directed state’s counsel, CD Singh, to place medical board’s results before the court on August 8. In case the petitioner passes the benchmark as per the 2016 Act, her case may be considered, the court noted.
A resident of Raipur, the petitioner was ranked sixth in the physically handicapped category for the Chhattisgarh. According to the state, the government-run medical colleges are governed by the Medical Council of India conditions that do not recognise Thalassemia as a benchmark disability.
The 2016 Act has widened the meaning of the word ‘disability’ to include more classes and cases of disability. Section 2(r) defines “person with benchmark disability” to be a person with not less than forty per cent of a specified disability.