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Mandamus Writ- The issuance of disability certificate to differently abled children: High Court of Kerala

The Medical certificated and IQ test of special need and handicapped children is to be issued by Clinical Psychologists for the purpose to appear in an examination of Medical Board and could avail all the benefits given under welfare schemes of Differently abled children. This remarkable judgement was passed by honorable Kerala high court in case of Devashrayam Charitable Society v State of Kerala, Represented by Its Secretary, Health and Family, Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram [WP(C). No.4993/2021] by The Honorable Chief Justice Mr.S.Manikumar & The Honorable Justice Shaji P.Chaly.

The Petitioner Devashrayam Charitable Society, had filed the instant Public Interest Litigation, seeking for a mandamus writ and directing the respondents to immediately direct the issuance of certificated and IQ test to appear in upcoming Medical Boards in the State, and also to assess the available benefits provided for children with disability and handicapped Children. According to them “due to the Covid – 19 pandemic, the District Medical Boards, were not functioning regularly”. Respondent directed that since large number of applications were received in all the District for Medical Certificates, medical board had been temporarily suspended and that had resulted in non-production of certificate before the Educational Authorities so as to get assistance of a scribe for the differently abled children.

The court after going through the material facts of the case opinioned that, “it could be seen that about 22545 children have to be examined, and having regard to the limited number of Clinical Psychologists, Additional Director of Health Department has been nominated, to draw up a panel of Clinical Psychologists, hold preliminary procedures and IQ tests, empanel the list of eligible children, so as to forward the same to the Medical Officer, and thereafter Special Medical Board have to be convened.”

This court directed that, “Directorate of Health Services, Thiruvananthapuram, shall explore the possibility of fixing any specific date for convening Medical Boards, in each district. This should be in addition to regular examination, which is being conducted on every Wednesday in a month, to be continued alongside the special drive so contemplated. They may consider issuing directions to the District Medical Officers, for examination of the students, preliminary proceedings and IQ test by the Clinical Psychologists / identify of qualified psychologists, for the purpose of examination and empanelment of the children for examination of the Medical Board.”

This court disposed the writ petition stating that, “Having regard to the plight of the differently abled children, their rights, and consequently issuance of certificates, so as to enable them to avail the benefits of any welfare measures, by the State / Central Governments, Directorate of Health Services, Thiruvananthapuram, the 2nd respondent, is directed to take appropriate decision and promptly too.”

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