The High Court Division on Sunday directed the government and the BUET to explain in four weeks why the refusal to admit students with disabilities and heart diseases, hernia and hydrocele after they pass the admission tests would not be declared as illegal.
A bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman issued the rule after hearing a public interest litigation writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Nazneen Nahar.
The respondents, the education ministry secretary, BUET’s vice-chancellor and the controller of examination were directed to reply to the rule.
Petitioner’s lawyer MI Farooqui submitted in the hearing that the Constitution’s Article 31 and Article 32 guarantee equal rights to education and health care to all.
Therefore, he submitted, any academically eligible student cannot be denied the right to admission by the BUET because of these health issues.
Farooqi submitted that the BUET failed to realise what astrophysicist Stephen William Hawkins had done for the mankind despite his physical disability.
He also submitted that Bangladesh had ratified the UNESCO Convention that prohibits any discrimination in education to persons with disabilities.
He submitted that by refusing admission to these students BUET had violated Section 15 (ja) and (da) of Protibondhi Bektir Adhikar O Surokkha Ain 2013 that requires extending equal rights to the disabled in education and getting employment.
Farooqui was assisted by juniors M Sadekur Rahman, Mahbub-ul-Islam and Javed Kabir.
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