The Supreme Court has opened the doors for colour-blind students to pursue MBBS course by ordering the admission of two such candidates, who have scored high marks in the entrance examination, for the next academic year.
Terming its action as “transcendental importance of justice”, the apex court said that peculiar facts and circumstances of the case required it to invoke special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution.
The two students had secured high marks in the entrance examination conducted by the Tripura government in 2015 during the pre-NEET period.
Without any statutory provision barring students from pursuing MBBS course, various colleges and Medical Council of India (MCI) were arbitrarily denying admissions to candidates suffering from Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD), popularly called colour blindness.
Both MCI and the Tripura Medical College had initially objected to their admission to the MBBS course as the two students suffered from CVD despite having qualified in the entrance examination.
“Keeping in view the transcendental importance of justice which is writ large in this case, we direct that the appellants shall be admitted in the MBBS course in the respondent No.2-College for the academic year 2018-2019 and the quota from the said year shall be reduced by two seats,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
“We direct that the appellants shall be admitted in the MBBS course in the respondent No.2-College for the academic year 2018-2019 and the quota from the said year shall be reduced by two seats,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said. The bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar said, “we may hasten to add that we have used the words ‘transcendental importance of justice’, as it conveys that we are invoking our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case”.
The apex court had on March 23 constituted an experts committee to ascertain whether colour blindness affected the prospects of students aspiring to become doctors.
The expert committee constituted by the court comprised doctors from AIIMS and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh and views of amicus curiae senior advocate K V Vishwanathan assisted by advocate Shoeb Alam were also taken.
The court had directed the senior advocate Vikas Singh to take instruction as to whether the students who have scored high ranking marks in medical entrance examination can be admitted into MBBS course or not.
“The expert committee shall review the situation and take note of the prevalent conditions of the study and practice and suggest changes for adoption in the medical course keeping in view the international practices,” the bench had said while directing the constitution of the committee.
In its report, the committee had opined that “Colour Vision Deficiency does not have any embargo of any type whatsoever” and suggested the incorporation of a suitable provision in the Graduate Medical Education to the effect that a person with visual disability of category I and above shall not be eligible to pursue Graduate Medical Education.