KH.NOBIN SINGH,J. -
(1.) Heard Ms. Th. Babita, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioner; Smt. Momota Oinam, learned Additional Advocate General for the State respondents; Shri B.R. Sharma, learned counsel for the Medical Council of India and Shri W. Darakishwor, learned Senior Penal Counsel for the Union of India.
(2.) By the instant writ petition, the petitioner has prayed for issuing a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ to direct the respondents to consider his case for admission to MBBS course in terms of the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 and the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The prayer in the writ petition was amended by way of an additional affidavit filed pursuant to the order dated 14-09-2018 of this court to the effect that the respondents be directed to give admission in the session, 2019-20 by keeping one seat reserved in his favour.
(3.) Facts and circumstances as narrated in the writ petition, are that the petitioner is a physically handicapped person with Locomotor disability who passed 12th standard in the year 2016 with 73.20 percent.
3.1 On 13.12.2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with certain principles being laid down therein. India being a signatory thereto, ratified the United Nations' convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, made the Act called the "Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016"? (hereinafter referred to as "the Act, 2016"?) which came into force with effect from 28.12.2016. Section 2(r) of the Act, 2016 defines the expression "person with benchmark disability"? to mean a person with not less than 40(forty) percent of a specified disability where the specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with disability where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority. Section 2(zc) of the Act, 2016 has defined "specified disability"? as disabilities as specified in the Schedule of the Act, 2016, the Clause 1A thereof set forth Locomotor disability as a specified disability.
3.2 In exercise of powers conferred by the Section 33 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as "the IMC Act, 1956"?), the Medical Council of India (hereinafter referred to as "the MCI"?) framed a regulation called "Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997"? (hereinafter referred to as "the Regulations, 1997"?) for matters relating to Medical Education in India, which came to be amended vide Notification dated 22.01.2018 published in the Gazette of India on 23.01.2018 incorporating therein the provisions of the Act, 2016. The Clause 5(5)(I) of the Regulations, 1997 provides for holding a single entrance examination called "National Eligibility-Cum- Entrance Test"? (hereinafter referred to as "the NEET"?) by a designated authority for admission to MBBS courses. In terms of Clause 5(5)(VII) of the Regulations, 1997, the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi (hereinafter referred to as "the CBSE"?) has been indentified/ designated to conduct the NEET for admission to the under graduate medical course in India in Medical and Dental College run with the approval of the MCI/ DCI. Accordingly, the NEET Unit, New Delhi of the CBSE published an information bulletin for the NEET (UG)-2018 to be held on 06.05.2018 for admission to MBBS/ BDS Courses.
3.3 The counseling for the NEET qualified candidates is conducted every year in all the States of India and the seats are allotted on the basis of the NEET reservation which is divided into three-(a) All India quota; (b) State quota and (c) Management quota. 15% of the total seats available are filled up through All India quota while the remaining 85% of the total seats are filled through State quota. As per the Regulations, 1997, the CBSE conducted the NEET- 2018 on 6th May, 2018 for admission to the undergraduate Medical/ BDS courses in India in Medical/ Dental Colleges run with the approval of MCI and the DCI for the session, 2018-2019.
3.4 After the result of the NEET-2018 being declared, on 7th June, 2018 the Director of Health Services, Manipur commenced the process of Manipur MBBS, 2018 by releasing the applications. The Petitioner who suffers from a specified disability, say, Locomotor disability with right upper limb, submitted his application on 20-06-2018 on the strength of the result of the NEET. First round of the counseling was fixed on 5th July, 2018; Second round thereof on 25th July, 2018 and Mop up round of the counseling was held on 6th August, 2018. When the petitioner was not called for the counseling, he enquired about it and the officials of the Directorate of Health Services, Manipur informed him that the cases of only those physically handicapped candidates with locomotor disorder/ disability of lower limb between 50% to 70% in connection with the reservation of 3% of the total seats for MBBS/ BDS courses allocated for the year, 2018 for the State of Manipur, were considered by it. The petitioner'scase was not considered at all as he did not fall under the said category. From a copy of the Notification dated 12.06.2018 which was handed over to him, he came to know that the admission of physically handicapped candidates to MBBS courses for the session, 2018-19 for the State of Manipur, was not done in terms of the Regulations, 1997, as amended, which came into force with effect from 23-01-2018. Being aggrieved by the actions of the State Government, the instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioner on inter-alia grounds that as per the amendment brought under the Notification dated 22.01.2015 of the MCI, 5% seats of the annual sanctioned intake capacity are earmarked for the candidates with benchmarked disabilities in the Act, 2016 and for this purpose, the specified disabilities contained in the Schedule to the Act, 2016 have been incorporated as Appendix "G"?; that the case of the petitioner was required to be considered in terms of said proviso and the consideration of the case of the petitioner in terms of the Manipur MBBS / BDS Entrance Examination (Selection of Candidates for Nomination) Rues, 2004 was totally illegal and that the rights under provisions of the Act, 2016 have been violated by it. ;