SC Orders To Examine Whether A ‘Colour Blind Person’ Can Become A Doctor

Published on 16 Jun 2018 by Shivi

On Friday, the Supreme Court ordered for the examination of whether a person suffering from disability of 'low vision' in which eyesight cannot be corrected or improved, can be allowed to pursue MBBS course and treat patients.

It became a debatable issue before a vacation bench comprising Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice Deepak Gupta who wondered whether it would be feasible to allow a person with visual impairment to become a doctor.

A notice was issued to the Centre and the Gujarat government by the bench on a plea filed by a student suffering from 'low vision', who had cleared the NEET 2018 undergraduate examination and sought direction for issuance of disability certificate as per the law so that he could take admission in MBBS course.

The bench stated that in the case of MBBS, it is required to see how much feasible and possible it is.

Justice Lalit recalled his personal experience with an intern who was blind, difficulties faced by him in reading the documents and how he used to convert digital documents into braille form for reading and understanding them. Now, after successfully completing his internship with Justice Lalit, he has become a Rhodes Scholar studying at the University of Oxford.

Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and advocate Govind Jee, who were appearing for minor student Purswani Ashutosh, told that there was already a provision for reservation of 5% seats of total intake capacity under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

According to him, a direction should be issued to the Centre and Gujarat government for implementing the reservation scheme for persons with benchmark disability as mandated by provisions of the Act and issuance of a certificate of disability.

After this, Justice Lalit told that he had studied law from a government law college and a professor who taught him company law was blind but remembered everything by heart.

According to the Bench, there is no problem in teaching or legal profession, but when it comes to medical education, it is to be examined whether a person with a disability of low vision should be allowed. The student was directed to be present before the committee of B J Medical College, Ahmedabad within 3 days, with the copy of this order.

The bench told that the petitioner should be medically examined and appropriate medical certification regarding the claim of the petitioner which he suffers from 'low vision' should be transmitted to the Registry of court within 4 days and posted the matter for further hearing on July 3, before an appropriate bench.

The apex court in a landmark move on September 24, 2017, had opened the doors for colour-blind students to pursue MBBS course by ordering admission of two such candidates, who had scored high marks in the entrance examination.

According to the apex court, the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case required it to invoke special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution as it was a matter of "transcendental importance of justice".

In 2015, the two students had secured high marks in the entrance examination conducted by the Tripura government during the pre-NEET period.

Various colleges and Medical Council of India (MCI) were arbitrarily denying admissions without any statutory provision barring students from pursuing MBBS course, to candidates suffering from Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD), popularly known as colour blindness. 

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