Showing posts with label higher education for disabled. Show all posts
Showing posts with label higher education for disabled. Show all posts

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mumbai High Court rules Doctors with disabilities can not be denied admission to PG Courses

Please refer to my earlier post in which the Bombay High Court had allowed admission of a disabled girl to the MBBS Course. However, it seems MCI doesn't want to be pro-active in considering disability from a human angle (doctors have been trained to look at disability from a medical angle... so it may not be their fault, its a systemic problem! :-)

However, MCI may learn from the increasing number of cases getting reprieve from the High Court on such issue and frame a disability friendly policy rather than a medically oriented "degree of disability" policy without any human touch and effort to see the ability in the disability !

Three disabled doctors get high court's reprieve

MUMBAI: Three disabled doctors who were denied the chance for admission to PG Medical Courses have got reprieve from Bombay High Court.  A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Ranjit More, in an interim order, directed authorities to consider their case for admission to a PG course in (medicine) or in a non-surgical branch. 

"(Their case would be considered) under physically handicapped category by considering (them) to be eligible for such reservation and on the basis of performance in the CET," said the judges. 

The petitions challenged the constitutional validity of the rules, which said that a candidate with more than 70% disability of the lower limbs cannot be considered to be eligible for admission. The lawyers for the petitioners said the MCI had erred in not considering that the medical courses can be divided into several categories. Dr Manoj Landge, Dr Rakesh Ukey and Dr Astha Ganeriwal were considered ineligible for admissions under this rule.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bombay & Chennai HC allow admission to disabled students in MBBS

Dear Friends,

In two different cases, the Bombay and Chennai High Courts have directed the MCI to give admission to students with disabilities in MBBS course. Here are both the cases:

Case No. 1 at Mumbai

Published: Thursday, Aug 5, 2010, 1:44 IST
By Mayura Janwalkar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA  

Just days after it told the state government that the latter needed to change its mindset in accommodating the disabled, the Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the state to grant a 19-year-old physically challenged student provisional admission to an MBBS course.

Khan Mohammed Tarique Mehmood, who has a lower limb disability, had moved the high court after he was denied admission to the course in the physically handicapped category.

The Director of Medical Education and Research (DMER) had refused admission to Mehmood on grounds that he suffered from a disability of more than 75%. As per the Medical Council of India (MCI) rules, a person with locomotive disability of lower limb (more than 50%) can not apply for MBBS.

However, in his petition before the court, Mehmood had contended that his disability was certified as 50% by the All-India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIIPMR). Moreover, Mehmood had also stated that he stood seventh in the state in the handicapped category in the common entrance test conducted by the government.

According to Mehmood, the DMER’s decision was contrary to the certificate issued by the IIPMR, which is a central government institute named in the DMER’s admission brochure. A bench presided by chief justice Mohit Shah admitted the petition and granted provisional admission to Mehmood in an interim order.

On August 2, the court granted provisional admission to a visually challenged girl who wished to pursue a career in physiotherapy.

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Case No. 2 at Chennai


Disabled girl wins court battle for MBBS admission
TNN Oct 2, 2011, 03.31AM IST

CHENNAI: In a major victory, P Divya of Royapuram has won a court case which will now enable disabled students across the state - other than those with locomotor disability in the lower limbs - to seek admission for an MBBS course. The Madras high court has directed the directorate of medical education (DME) to provide Divya admission to the MBBS course for this year.

After applying for a medical seat under the special category (orthopaedically physically disabled), Divya attended counselling on June 30, 2011. Medical council of India (MCI) regulations stipulate that only people with 40-70% locomotor disability in the lower limbs are entitled to 3% reservation for MBBS admission under the Persons with Disabilities Act (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation Act), 1995. Though she produced a disability certificate from the regional medical board, government hospital, Chennai, it was not accepted by the selection committee.

"They did not give us a proper reason for rejecting her so we filed a writ petition," counsel for petitioner R Prabhakaran said. When the petition came up in the HC, Justice D Hariparanthaman had directed DME to ascertain Divya's disability and also ordered that one seat be kept vacant. She was sent to another regional medical board at GH, which gave a certificate on July 19.

This certificate said she suffered from a spinal deformity due to which she had a torso imbalance and a total physical permanent disability of 46%. If the certificate was read to the effect that Divya suffered locomotor disability above 40%, she was entitled to admission under the 3% reservation category, he added.

Passing orders, Justice D Hariparanthaman said the reservation provided only to persons with locomotory disability in the lower limbs was in violation of the Persons with Disabilities Act. He quashed the notification and directed MCI to include other categories of disabled persons, more particularly those with disabilities above 40% in its regulation.

Friday, January 2, 2009

DLU East - a unit of Shishu Sarothi explores success in rights through courts

Dear Friends,

Shishu Sarothi through its unit Disability Legislation Unit South has been a front runner in taking up disability rights issues in the north east region of India. In a recent PIL filed before the Gauhati High Court bearing No. Writ Petition(Civil) 34/2008, they have obtained favourable orders from the Division Bench of the Hon'ble Chief Justice J Chelameswar and Hon'ble Mr.Justice A Potsangham on December 17, 2008.

In the instant case, the Director of Medical Education, Assam issued a notice for admission to paramedical courses in the three medical courses to fill up 400 seats among 12 different paramedical courses.

In the impugned admission notice the Director changed the definition of disability to suit their own whims and fancies. To fill up 3% quota of disabled they choose "only the persons with locomotor disability of the lower limbs and having 50 to 70 per cent of disability". This by any imagination was a fun of the law of the land and an attempt to throttle the spirit of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act-1995 and the Constitution of India.

Here is the coverage that might interest you:

Assam Times: Where executive fails, Judiciary prevails
Where executive fails, Judiciary prevails

Daynath Singh on 31 December, 2008 

The greatest challenges facing persons with disabilities lie in the areas of access, education and employment, said Ms Anju Talukdar, coordinator, Disability Law Unit, NE. Addressing the media persons at Guwahati Press Club on December 31, 2008, she expressed concern over the physical barriers in the environment coupled with societal prejudice severely restrict and often completely block available opportunities. One of the laws enacted to ensure the protection of persons with disabilities in India is the 'Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act 1995. Unfortunately, even with its many beneficial provisions, the said Act has failed to achieve its objectives due to poor implementation and in many cases non-implementation of its provisions. This was simply demonstrated in a recent case involving admissions to seats in paramedical courses in the three medical colleges of Assam.

On May 12, last an Educational Notice was issued by the Director of Medical Education, Assam, for admission to paramedical courses in the three medical courses. A total of 400 seats were to be filled up among 12 different paramedical courses. The Act guarantees certain rights to persons with disabilities including the right spelt out in Section 39 which says "all educational institutions to reserve seats for persons with disabilities. All government educational institutions and other educational institutions receiving aid from the Government shall reserve not less than three percent seats for persons with disabilities."

The advertisement issued by the Director of Medical Education provided for three per cent reservation for persons with disabilities, but the definition of who is a person with disability was as unique as it was inaccurate. It was also clearly contrary to the law, she said. Under the Persons with Disabilities Act 'person with disability' means a person with 40 per cent or more of blindness, low vision, leprosy-cured, hearing impairment, locomotors disability, including cerebral palsy, mental retardation and mental illness.

This very clearly definition of disability as spelt out by the law was not enough for the authorities. They came up with their own definition and as per the admission notice, three percent reservation quota would be made available for persons with disabilities, but 'only the persons with locomotors disability of the lower limbs and having 50 to 70 per cent of disability shall be eligible for this quota.'

This was clearly against the provisions of the Act. Anju Talukdar and Rakhi Sirauthia Choudhury of the Disability Law Unit, Northeast challenged this educational notice in the Gauhati High Court in a Public Interest Litigation, which was numbered as PIL 34/2008. This Unit is a project of Shishu Sarothi and fights for the rights of persons with disabilities by creating awareness on the various disability laws, advocating disabled friendly policies and facilitating litigation in case of violation of rights.

The case was argued on behalf of the petitions by their counsel, Siddharth Shankar Dey, renowned advocate of the Gauhati High Court and strong defender of disability rights. On June 16, 2008 the petition was admitted by the court and as an interim measure, the authorities were directed to receive applications from all categories of persons with disabilities. On June 27, the Director of Medical Education issued a corrigendum inviting applications from all categories of persons with disabilities.

The Division Bench of the Hon'ble Chief Justice J Chelameswar and Hon'ble Mr. Justice A Potsangham on December 17 last allowed the petition directing that three percent reservation for persons with disabilities would be available for all categories of disabilities. The High Court rejected the argument of the State of Assam that restricting the reservation to only the persons with locomotors disability of the lower limbs and having 50 to 70 percent of disability was justified under the guidelines of the Medical council of India. Interestingly, the documents relied on by the State of Assam itself showed that the Medical Council of India had prescribed guidelines only with reference to admissions to MBBS and PG medicine courses. No mention was made of paramedical courses. Further, there was nothing in the law to exclude persons with other disabilities from qualifying on merit to the paramedical courses. So no such exclusion can be made for seats reserved for persons with disabilities.

The decision of the Gauhati High Court is a huge encouragement to the disability sector –not just in Assam, but the entire Northeast and in fact the whole country. It is often seen that government authorities neglect and ignore their obligations under the law. There has often been no other recourse available but to approach the courts to secure the rights and interests of the persons with disabilities. While the executive continues to pose obstacles in the path, it is a huge relief that the judiciary has consistently proved a bastion and bulwark in defense of persons with disabilities, said Ms Talukdar.

- See more at: http://www.assamtimes.org/node/2394#sthash.MPaysaBk.dpuf

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another girl denied admission to medical course -this time due to higher %age of disability

Dear friends,

I want to share another case of neglect and improper application of disability laws, against persons with disabilities rather than in favour of.

The girl, Pooja Dubey, quite brilliant though, has been denied admission on the grounds of her 80% degree of disability. While a national institute has declared her fit, the authority do not believe it. The girl emphasizes that the degree is with respect to the disability (Post Polio Residual Paralysis) in her right leg only while she is competent to undergo the course, the medical institute argues that it is with respect to whole body!!!

Another excuse to disregard the Act! Though Mumbai High Court has asked for re-examination of the candidate and the possibilities are that she will be taken in as the same institute has already declared her fit to undergo the course before appearing for the entrance test! I am concerned that the Learned Judges went on to ask her that what she will do in emergency - raising a question on her abilities ! I feel the courts should refrain from such targeting questions when her assessment on record confirms her capabilities.


Here is the news

HC asks medical body to decide disabled candidate
Mayura Janwalkar Tuesday, September 30, 2008 03:20 IST

Pooja Dubey was denied admission due to a handicap in her right leg.

Pooja Dubey, 17, moved the Bombay high court after being denied admission in the MBBS course owing to a handicap in her right leg. She probably drew hope from the case of Dr Saroj Yadav who despite the same handicap in her arm was allowed a post-graduate seat in the radiology faculty by the court earlier this month.

Although Yadav left the court premises with all hurdles on her way to becoming a radiologist removed, Dubey’s fate still remains uncertain. The case of Mira-Road resident Dubey is, however, not identical to that if Yadav. Dubey who suffers from post polio residual paralysis of her right limb between her thigh and her knee, secured the 15th rank among handicapped candidates in the medical CET conducted in May this year.

She and her father Bhanu Prakash Dubey hit the panic button after her name did not appear even on the second list of selected candidates issued in August. Her father had written several letters to the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). He also submitted a certificate from the All India Institute of Physical, Medical and Rehabilitation stating that Dubey was fit to undergo training in the Health Science course that she had opted for.
However, the DMER had refused her admission on the ground that the percentage of her disability was 80%. As per the DMER and the Medical Counsel of India, a disability of more than 40% and less than 70% was permissible for pursuing a medical course.

Dubey’s advocates Mayur Khandeparkar and Swapna Kode contended that she had been examined by the medical board of the DMER prior to seeking admission and nowhere during the admission procedure was Dubey informed that she was ineligible to pursue the course.


After hearing the case on Monday, chief justice Swatanter Kumar and justice SA Bobade directed the DMER to reassess Dubey’s case and disposed off the petition. “If the competent authority (DMER) is saying that the disability can hamper your (Dubey’s) performance, how can the court say otherwise?” Kumar said. He asked, “What will you do in case of emergency?” Dubey’s dream of becoming a doctor, now hinges on the decision of the DMER that has to re-consider her case in a week’s time.

Khandeparkar told the court that Dubey under the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, had a right to seek admission to the course. He added that her left leg was fully functional and the 80% disability, as stated by the DMER, was restricted to her right leg. Bobade, however, remarked that the percentage of disability was not just restricted to the affected organ but was with reference to the whole body.