The Kerala High Court directed the concerned authorities to permit children with an IQ level between 70 and 84 to avail the facilities available to disabled persons in the forthcoming SSLC Examination 2022 pending disposal of a writ petition as an interim relief.A Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly directed the Government Pleader to communicate the order…
The Kerala High Court directed the concerned authorities to permit children with an IQ level between 70 and 84 to avail the facilities available to disabled persons in the forthcoming SSLC Examination 2022 pending disposal of a writ petition as an interim relief.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly directed the Government Pleader to communicate the order of this court to the respondents forthwith and also to the District Medical Officer, Thrissur for implementing this order.
The guidelines under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 govern the assessment of the extent of specified disability in a person under the Act. To avail the special benefits stipulated under the Act, the Medical Board has to issue a Disability Certificate to the concerned students.
Meanwhile, the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities issued a letter to the Director of Health Services ordering that the children having IQs 70-84 fall under Slow Learners/Borderline Intelligent groups and they are not included in Intellectual Disability (ID) and Specific Learning Disability (SLD).
This implies that only a child who has an IQ above 85 will be considered for Pecified Learning Disability Severity Assemessment while only a child with an IQ below 69 would be considered for the mental illnesses assessment.
Aggrieved by this, a group of Class 10 students moved the Court seeking a directive to the respondents to consider issuance of Intellectual Disability Certificate for children having IQs between 70 to 84 and allow such children to avail the additional facilities in written examinations.
The petitioners themselves belonged to the IQ group and for this reason, they had not been admitted either for Specific Learning Disability Severity Assessment or Mental Illness Assessment.
They sought a declaration that the exclusion of children with the said IQ from the impugned notification is arbitrary, unreasonable and ultra vires to the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. The petitioners also added that it violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
The petitioners also sought a direction to the respondents to frame scientific and reasonable diagnosis procedures to identify specific learning disabilities in children.
Advocates Shibin K.F and Shoby K Francis appearing for the petitioners argued that children with IQ between 70 and 84 require assistance to take part in the SSLC examination.
He further submitted that although this year’s SSLC examination has already commenced, the next examination is scheduled on April 6 while urging for interim relief.
Government Pleader K.R.Ranjith submitted that pursuant to the proceedings of the impugned letter, instructions have been issued to all the District Medical Officers (Health) in the State.
Upon perusing the records, the Court noted that children with the said IQ level fall under the category of slow learners/borderline intelligent. This category of children neither comes under the category of Intellectual Disability nor under Specific Learning Disability.
The Bench observed that most of the children coming under this category deserve special consideration. It added that such children appear before concerned courts for obtaining the necessary certificate and other facilities as sought in the interim prayer.
Therefore, it was inclined to grant interim relief in the matter.
Case Title: Bibin K. B. & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 169
Click Here To Read/Download The Interim Order
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