The Delhi High Court has set aside an order directing the Indraprastha University here to admit a student suffering from thalassaemia in MBBS course under the disability category in any of its three colleges.
A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sunil Gaur allowed the appeals of IP University and Medical Council of India challenging the order of the high court's single judge directing the admission of the student to their MBBS course for the academic year 2017-18.
"For the foregoing reasons, it is held that the appeals have to succeed. The judgment and directions of the single judge, allowing ... are hereby set aside," it said.
The single judge's order had come on a plea by a 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.
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 the form to appear 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.
The division bench said the submission of MCI and the University with regard to the absolute nature of the cut-off date for admission, is substantial.
"The Supreme Court has emphasized on numerous occasions, through its several judgments that the timelines indicated by the MCI, (especially the cut-off date for admission) in its regulations (earlier September 30, and now August 31, of the concerned academic year)are absolute and inviolable," it said.
The bench said that in this case the student had approached the court on August 26 and when the petition was taken-up, no direction to keep a seat vacant was sought or granted.
"Therefore, when the judgment was in fact delivered on September 19, the deadline for admission, that is the last date had long passed. In these circumstances, the single judge could not have directed admission of the candidate, even if it were assumed that a vacancy existed in the PH/PD quota," the bench said.
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