Chennai: The Madras High Court has set aside a single judge order and directed the Tamil Nadu government to admit a differently-abled MBBS aspirant to the course without insisting that she write the NEET exam.
A division bench, comprising Justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and K Kalyanasundaram, gave the directive while setting aside the order of a single judge in 2016.
The single judge had rejected her appeal, taking into consideration an expert committee's report that she was not eligible because of 80 per cent disability.
"We are of the view that the candidate who had applied for MBBS during 2016-17 was eligible and entitled to get admission. But due to the improper consideration of her case, she has already lost two years," the court said.
Noting that during 2016-2017, passing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam for pursuing medical course was not mandatory, the bench said that if her case was now rejected on that ground, it would be difficult for her to take the NEET for no wrong committed by her.
Petitioner K Nandhinee submitted that she belongs to backward class and has permanent disability in her lower limbs. She secured 1,018 out of 1,200 marks in the higher secondary course and applied for admission for MBBS based on the prospectus issued by the selection committee for 2016-17.
The Medical Board assessed her disability at 70 per cent, (orthopaedically handicapped) whereas doctors in the expert committee during counselling assessed it at 80 per cent and declared her ineligible, as her disability was more than the percentage prescribed in the prospectus for admission.
Following this, the candidate moved the high court, but a single judge dismissed it. Challenging this, she filed an appeal. The division bench said though the appellant has 80 per cent disability in her lower limbs, she is eligible to get the seat as the disability would in no way affect her in pursuing her studies. She can complete her course with some artificial aid, the bench added, while ordering the government to allow her to pursue the course.