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SUPREME COURT ORDER TO DO COMPLETE JUSTICE IN AN DISABLED PERSON CASE
Author: Mainam Harshini, III year of B.A.,LL.B. from Christ Academy Institute of Law
The supreme court used its exceptional powers under Article 142 to certify the successful completion of a handicapped student's Master of Designs course from the Indian Institute of Technology, the Supreme Court has achieved a triumph for her (IIT).
Facts of the case
Naman Varma, an inhabitant of Mumbai, is suffering from a “learning Disability” called ‘Dyscalculia’ which means a comprehensive learning disability in Mathematics. The Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education gave the petitioner extra privileges in terms of time and marks when she took the Secondary Board exam as a student. She makes use of certificates providing privileges. Even in junior college, the relevant college provided exceptional concessions to students enrolled in classes XI and XII. Because of the learning problem, she has depended on the certificate allowing her this permission. According to the claim, the Symbiosis Institute of Design considered her to be a good student in the Product Design faculty despite her learning handicap and suggested her for graduate design studies. The petitioner filled the application for IIT under for Common Entrance Examination for Design Exam and the application was categorized as General Category as there was no certain provision to fill in the application about her disability.
To be eligible for admission to the course, the responding IIT reportedly requires a minimum of 64 percent in the general category, 57.6 percent in the OBC category and 32 percent in the SC/ST/PD category. The petitioner's examination results for Part "A" for admittance into IIT were announced on or around December 26, 2012. The Part 'A' examination results showed that the petitioner received 50 out of 100 possible points. In order to disclose her Part "B" result for IIT admission, she did not make the entry as necessary under the general category, which required a minimum percentage of 64%.According to the mark sheet, the petitioner pointed out that the qualifying percentage for the PD category in Part "A" tests was just 32%. The institution said that Dyscalculia won’t come into the PD Category as it only fills with a Physical disability, visual disability, speech and hearing disabilities.
However, The Chief Commissioner had advised the institute to consider the petitioner's admission to a postgraduate design course after the petitioner submitted a disability certificate issued by the appropriate medical authority, the Deputy Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities informed the Director of IIT. On 25th January 2013, She was admitted to IIT. But,she was qualified for Part A after this the Institute calculated Part B. She was not qualified for Part B as per the cut-off PD category.
On August 30th, 2013, She filed a petition, the counsel for the parties claim that the court was not specifically alerted to the petitioner failing the foregoing criteria and not passing. The Court then issued temporary orders as a result of which the petitioner finished her course. On July 29th, 2016, the Court received notice of this information for the first time.
In this case, Visveswaraiah Technological University and Anr. vs. Krishnendu Halder and Ors, two students who were accepted in the 2007–2008 school year as a result of the temporary order continued their studies and were expected to finish the program in a short period of time and can receive the degree. Under Article 142 of Indian Constitution, The Supreme Court has not disturbed the status of the admission of the student in the Visveswaraiah case.
In 2018, The High Court held that she could not gain assistance, as it lacks the jurisdiction to pass an order according to article 142 with the interest of the petitioner and issuing of degree. In the case Mohan Das Issardas V. A. N. Sattanathan&Anr the court held that High court could not exercise under article 142 of the Indian Constitution. So, the petition was disposed in High Court.
Later she went for an appeal to Supreme Court.
Article 142 of Indian constitution: Enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court and unless as to discovery, etc.-
(1) The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or orders so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe.
(2) Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, the Supreme Court shall, as respects the whole of the territory of India, have all and every power to make any order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person, the discovery or production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself.
On, June 13th, 2022, A three judge bench which was led by U.U. Lalit gave judgement as Her credentials would "remain valid for all intents and purposes." The court ordered that Ms. Varma be given her degree and all other supporting documents. The appellant has successfully finished the Master in Design programme, and the qualification shall be valid for all practical purposes, as we proclaim in exercising our authority under Article 142 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court's ruling also mentioned how Ms. Varma's situation changed when the High Court took up her case for ultimate adjudication. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights, and Full Participation) Act, 1995's provisions were not accepted by the High Court in its 2018 judgement. However, the High Court was also aware that Ms. Naman Varma had finished her course of study in accordance with its interim decision from five years prior.
Here, the Supreme Court intervened in accordance with Article 142 to deem Ms. Varma's course completion effective for “all practical reasons”. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016 has already taken the place of the 1995 Act, according to the court. However, the court said it would address Ms. Varma's rights under the 2016 statute when the time came, and for the time being abstained from doing so.
1. Indian Kannon, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/27006004/
2. Supreme Court uses special powers, helps student with learning disability, Legal Correspondent, The Hindu, June 13, 2022, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-uses-special-powers-helps-student-with-learning-disability/article65524529.ece
3. UGC issues guidelines for better inclusion of learners with disabilities on campuses, Express News Service, The Indian Express, New Delhi, July 14, 2022, https://indianexpress.com/article/education/ugc-issues-guidelines-for-better-inclusion-learners-with-disabilities-on-campuses-8025966/