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Injustice to PwD Student: Apex Court Directs to NTA to review

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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India, supreme court of india, india supreme court, iit student, top court, student, justice education, education justice, justice in education, pwd student, student with physical disorder

The Supreme Court Bench directed the National Testing Agency (NTA) to review a case of injustice done by the NTA to a student with disability.

The two-judge Bench of Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna took a stand in favour of the student after she complained that the NTA was insensitive to her disability.

The incident came to light when appellant moved the Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court had dismissed the appeal under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution. The appellant, a student with specified disability ‘Dysgraphia’ (listed on Entry 2(a) in the RPwD Act) had appeared to write the NEET examination on 12 September, 2021.

The appellant claimed that she was not given the additional one hour of time prescribed due to her disability. She alleged that the National Testing Agency (NTA) officials at the examination centre were ignorant of the special facilities that were to be provided to PwD (Persons with Disabilities) candidates.

As per the special facilities granted to the appellant’s disability, the compensatory, extra one hour is to be exercised. As per the allegation from the appellant however, the examination centre officials did not consider the clauses from Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPwD Act) and did not give her the complementary one hour of time to finish writing her examination.

The appellant suffered from ‘Dysgraphia’ with a 40% permanent disability which is a ‘benchmark disability’ under Section 2(r) of the RPwD Act. ‘Dysgraphia’ is a neurological disorder that impairs the ability to write for which, the appellant should be given an additional one hour so that she could finish her test despite her inability to write as fast as regular students. The appellant mentioned that her answer sheet was collected forcibly along with the regular candidates after the examination’s three hour time limit was done.

The Court dealt with the issue if the one hour time extension to the appellant was permitted under the PwD status, under the guidelines for written examination announced by the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Justice.

Upon further analysis, the Supreme Court defined that the NTA had exclusive functions that were listed in the NEET Bulleting 2021. The Apex Court then concluded that the NTA’s actions in the case were contrary to the provisions put forth by the NEET Bulletin 2021.

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