Published: 17th May 2022
SC comes to aid of student with disability; directs IIT-B to bestow Master in Design degree
The top court declared that the student successfully completed the course and that the qualification shall hold good for all practical purposes
The Supreme Court, in a recent order, has directed the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, to provide a Master in Design to a student with a learning disability. "The appropriate steps, including handing over of the degree and all other testimonials to the appellant, shall be completed within four weeks from today," the May 11 order said, according to a TNIE report.
The top court, in its power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, declared that the student suffering from learning disabilities known as Dyscalculia successfully completed the course of Master in Design and that the qualification shall hold good for all practical purposes. Initially, in 2013, the student was allowed to pursue her education by the Bombay High Court as relief through an interim direction but she was later denied her degree during the final disposal of the case.
"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 order read. Article 142 provides a unique power to the Supreme Court, to do "complete justice" between the parties, where at times law or statute may not provide a remedy, the Court can extend itself to put a quietus to a dispute in a manner which would befit the facts of the case.
Last month, the top court, in a separate case, had directed the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) to let candidates with colour blindness pursue the courses at the institute. "It is much easier to change laws than to change mindsets. It takes a long time to change the mindset and, therefore, the judiciary has to sometimes give impetus to change the mindset." The court had observed in that order.