Delhi HC ‘appreciates the efforts of the particularly able lawyer’ in the medic aspirant’s pleading questioning the constitutionality of the RPWD law

NewsCitiesDelhiDelhi HC “appreciates the efforts of a particularly qualified attorney” in the medical candidate’s plea challenging the constitutionality of the RPWD Act. Delhi High Court (file)Listen to this article Your browser does not support the audio element.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the center’s view on a plea which, among other things, questioned the constitutionality of provisions of the Disability Rights Act, commending the efforts of the litigant’s lawyer, who himself has a special disability is.

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A divisional bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad heard attorney Rahul Bajaj appearing for the litigant — a medical candidate who had approached the center to fill spots for people with disabilities, even though they have a lower percentage of disability prescribed as a guide.

Bajaj said that he will not pray for the constitutionality of the provision of the RPWD law, he prayed that the related statement to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, would be decided in a certain time bound way. The statement, issued Jan. 5, called on the agency to consider a reassessment of the reservation system in higher education institutions in light of the injustice inflicted on candidates with permanent disabilities of less than 40% who are skipped over for vacant positions in favor of non-reserved candidates become without disabilities.

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The High Court found that the petitioner had “expressed a serious concern that places reserved for people with a disability category would in fact be occupied by people with a disability category”. The HC asked the Union of India to examine the litigant’s allegation and allowed them to submit a response further stating that they may make a decision on the said allegation and the response must contain the same.

The HC said afterwards: “This court really appreciates the sincere efforts of the petitioner’s attorney, Mr. Rahul Bajaj, who is a particularly competent attorney who has prepared the case so well and is championing the case of another entitled party.” Because Bajaj, a visually impaired attorney, had requested that all pleadings from respondent agencies be filed in an “accessible format,” the Chamber ordered the Supreme Court clerk to “provide copies of all documents in an accessible format.” to Bajaj for allowing him to go through them and argue the matter on the merits. The HC issued a notice to the Respondents, including the Center, the AIIMS and the National Medical Commission, and listed the matter for hearing on April 13.

The plea filed by Ira Law challenges Section 32 of the RPWD Act relating to higher education reservations. The section states that all state colleges and government-sponsored colleges should withhold at least five percent. Seats for individuals with Benchmark disabilities. The section goes on to say that persons with benchmark disabilities should be given a five-year age relief for admission to colleges.

Bajaj argued that if there is no one in the benchmark disability category, what can the center do in such a situation to fill such seats so such candidates are not left in no man’s land. The candidate was disadvantaged by a Disability Certificate issued by a Designated Disability Certification Center – Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, issued on 7th October 2022. The certificate rated the candidate’s disability level as “30% mobility impairment” and declared her “ineligible to pursue medical school” because “she does not have both hands intact, with intact sensation, adequate strength and range of motion.” .

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She was excluded from participating in the ongoing advisory process for the NEET-UG 2022 and declared ineligible for admission to the MBBS course. The candidate approached the Single Judge of the HC who instructed AIIMS Delhi to form a panel of three experts to assess her disability and give an opinion on her ability to pursue medical studies and practice medicine . On 2 December 2022, the Single Judge found that the AIIMS had agreed with the Medical College Chandigarh’s assessment, stating that the candidate could potentially be considered eligible to take the MBBS course but was not eligible for the PwD quota , as their disability is below the benchmark disability level (40% and above). The single judge clarified in his order that the opinion of Chandigarh medical school that “the candidate is not eligible to pursue medical studies (under NMC standards)” will not prevent her from participating in the remaining deliberations a candidate of the general (UR) category. However, the candidate had not appealed this decision before the division bank.

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