The Delhi High Court has directed AIIMS to constitute a board of experts to assess the disability of an MBBS doctor, who has been declared ineligible to pursue the postgraduate level medical course. The high court said the board shall specifically determine whether the woman petitioner would be able to perform the functions expected from a postgraduate specialist doctor and submit a detailed report before it in a sealed cover on or before September 14.
The court was hearing a plea by an MBBS doctor whose grievance was that despite being a person with benchmark disability under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, she has been declared ineligible to pursue a postgraduate level medical course based on a certificate of disability for NEET admissions issued by Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC) and Safdarjung Hospital by which she has been certified as a person with 100 per cent disability.
Justice Sanjeev Narula said it would be appropriate to have a second opinion in respect of the petitioner's disability and asked the Director of AIIMS to constitute a board of three experts in the relevant field to assess her disability and specifically discern whether she would be able to perform the functions expected from a postgraduate specialist doctor. The court asked the board to submit a detailed report in a sealed cover on or before the next date of hearing.
The high court 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 or notification of March 13, 2019. It asked the petitioner to be present before the board of doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for her medical examination on September 5.
The high court also issued notices and sought a response from the Centre, National Medical Commission and VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital to the petition. Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that due to the earlier assessment, the woman has been unfairly disallowed admission in the course concerned as her disability is shown to be more than 80 per cent. He argued that VMMC has failed to appreciate the March 13, 2019 notification of the National Medical Commission (NMC) which says people with more than 80 per cent disability can be permitted admission on a case-to-case basis.
As per the notification, 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. Bansal said VMMC did not allow the petitioner to wear her calliper during assessment and thus, the determination of functional disability, without the aid of an assistive device, is incorrect.
Advocate T Singhdev, representing NMC, apprised the court of the guidelines regarding admission of students with specified disabilities for matters relating to admission in postgraduate courses in modern medicine. He argued that the extent of specified disability in a person with a disability (PwD) has to be assessed following prescribed guidelines.