SC directs IIT Bombay to hand over Masters degree to 'learning disabled' student

Naman Verma, who claimed to be suffering from 'learning disabilities' known as "Dyscalculia", has preferred the petition before Bombay HC praying to issue an appropriate direction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India

ANIUpdated: Monday, May 16, 2022, 02:28 PM IST
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New Delhi: For a student suffering from 'learning disabilities', the Supreme Court order has come as a great relief as it directed the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) to hand over his degree in Master in Design, declaring that the student has successfully completed it.

A bench of justices Uday Umesh Lalit, Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia directed Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) to take appropriate steps including handing over of the degree and all other testimonials to the appellant Naman Verma within four weeks.

"We, therefore, exercise our power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India and declare that the appellant has successfully completed the course of Master in Design and that the qualification shall hold good for all practical purposes hereafter," the Court said in its May 11's order.

The top court was hearing Naman Verma's plea challenging the judgment and order dated April 17, 2018, passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay.

Naman Verma, who claimed to be suffering from 'learning disabilities' known as "Dyscalculia", has preferred the petition before Bombay HC praying to issue an appropriate direction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India directing the Respondent to take the petitioner into the course of Master Design in 2013 batch.

Under the interim orders passed by the High Court, her candidature was directed to be considered and the appellant Naman Verma was admitted to the course of Master in Design.

With the passage of time, the appellant Naman Verma completed the course successfully.

However, when the petition was taken up for final disposal, after considering various issues, the entitlement of the appellant under the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 was not accepted by Bombay HC.

The Bombay High Court was then confronted with the issue as to what would be the fate and what directions can be passed when the appellant had completed the course under the interim directions.

While dealing with the issue, the High Court observed "We are of the view that although the petitioner may be entitled to be declared successful in the course. We are unable to grant her any further relief in this petition for want of necessary powers under Article 226 to declare the petitioner as having passed the M Des program held by IDC."

The Apex Court observed that the 1995 Act now stands replaced by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

"Though we affirm the view taken by the High Court on the issues of law which came up for determination by the High Court, considering the fact that the appellant has completed the course, we are not persuaded to cancel her candidature so as to put her qualification in jeopardy, " the top court said.

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