Can colour blind persons become doctors: Supreme Court asks MCI to apprise it

The apex court direction came after a panel appointed by it recommended that a decades-old bar against colour blind candidates has to be done away with.

Published: 31st July 2017 08:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2017 08:17 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court | (File Photo/PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) to apprise it whether the students, who have obtained high ranks in medical entrance examination but are colour blind can be admitted to MBBS course.

The apex court direction came after a panel appointed by it recommended that a decades-old bar against colour blind candidates has to be done away with and current discrimination on the basis of colour vision deficiency cannot be sustained.

"We direct 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," a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar said.

It posted the matter for further hearing on September 12.

Singh, appearing for the MCI, said that petitioner candidates have not taken even the NEET examination and sought some time till a general body meeting of the MCI takes a decision in this regard.

The bench said there is a report from the committee and the MCI should consider it.

Singh said even in NEET, there is no colour blindness test and students can go through the examination and after qualifying can take any medical stream.

Senior advocate K V Vishwanathan, who has been assisting the court, said India is perhaps the only country where colour blind people are denied admission in medical colleges.

He said that colour blindness is not considered as a deterrent for rejection in countries like the US and the UK.

The apex court appointed panel had termed the MCI rule barring colour blind persons from becoming doctors as "regressive".

It has said that colour vision deficiency nowadays is a common problem and does not significantly impact a person's ability to become a doctor.

The panel which comprised various specialist doctors in its report submitted before the court had said that there should not be any restriction either at the stage of admission or at the completion of study and registration as a doctor.

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