"Who knows, someday she may become an excellent doctor," the Supreme Court said on Friday as it came to the rescue of a girl, who was denied admission in MBBS course due to her language and speech impairment, and directed a medical board of PGIMER Chandigarh to examine her.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala directed that the medical board be constituted by the director of PGIMER Chandigarh, including a specialist on language and speech impairment to examine the girl, who is from Haryana. The bench also directed that a report be filed by the medical board in the court after examining her in a month.

Advocate Gaurav Sharma, appearing for the National Medical Commission, suggested that it is not coming in the way of girl's education in MBBS course but it would be appropriate if she is examined by a medical board to ascertain, whether she will be able to cope up with the course. He said that admission for this academic year has already been done but she can take admission for next academic year. AOR Amrish Kumar, along with ASG Aishwarya Bhati appeared for the Union of India before the Court.

The bench then noted, "the petitioner has approached this court that she has been denied admission in MBBS course on the ground that she has speech and language impairment of 55 per cent. Without embarking on legal norms to find a resolution, we accordingly direct that the petitioner be examined by a medical board at PGIMER Chandigarh. The medical boards file its report within a month after examining her."

Advocate Gaurav Agrawal, appearing for the girl, said there was no challenge to the Medical Council of India Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 as amended on February 4, 2019.

The apex court had issued notice on September 26, last year and sought response from the Centre and the National Medical Commission on the plea. Agrawal had earlier submitted that the student, despite clearing NEET examination, is being denied her right to education as she has speech impairment. He had said that her disability is qualified under the new regulations and she can be accommodated in the reserved quota.

The bench had then observed that had the petitioner come early, then the court could have exercised its power under Article 142 to protect the girl and her academic year could have been saved.

In her plea, the girl has said, "The petitioner, despite being a disabled person and suffering from disability, dreamt of pursuing MBBS and becoming a doctor. The petitioner was allotted a seat in the Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College, Haryana under the Person with disability category through counseling". The plea said, however, she was declared ineligible after the disability board decided her disability is at 55 per cent. Under the Disability Act, 40 per cent disability is allowed for taking the benefit of the reservation under the Act.

Cause Title - Vibhushita Sharma v. Union of India & Ors.

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With PTI Inputs