Sainik School denies admission to student for being medically unfit; Uttaranchal High Court dismisses petition seeking admission

uttaranchal high court

Uttaranchal High Court: In a case wherein the Petitioner had applied for admission in Sainik School, Ghorakhal, Nainital (‘School’), and was denied admission on the ground that she did not meet the physical and medical fitness standards. Aggrieved by the rejection, the Petitioner seeks directions from the Court to be allowed admission in the School. Ravindra Maithani, J.*, observed that the Petitioner did not meet the medical standards set out for admission and the rejection was in accordance with the Rules and Regulations, hence dismissed the writ petition. The Court held that, “Petitioner has a congenital insufficiency of musculoskeletal structures of both feet and may be associated with other congenital anomalies in the body which are not clinically obvious at present, but may manifest later on.”


Pursuant to an advertisement for Entrance Examination in the School, the Petitioner took the entrance test and obtained 260 marks out of 300 marks. After which petitioner was required to undergo Medical Examination at Military Hospital Bareilly, however, was declared unfit on account of ‘Bilateral Brachydactyly’ fourth toes. Petitioner appealed before the appellate authority against the decision of Medical Board, and was called for the Medical Board proceedings at the Command Hospital, Lucknow, but was declared medically unfit on account of deformity of the toe in both the feet. It was alleged by the Petitioner that the deformity in no manner interfere with the performance, therefore, the rejection on the medical ground was not as per the Sainik School Society Rules and Regulations, 1997 (‘Rules and Regulations’).

The Petitioner submitted that the School aimed to provide quality education to the students so that they can join Armed Forces and other professions. Deformity of the toe, if it does not interfere with the dressing/walking/running/swimming or climbing, should not be a ground for rejection for admission in the School.

On the contrary the Respondents pointed out that the School was run by the Sainik School Society Rules and Regulations, and as per the available medical literature, it was evident that Brachydactyly may be associated with other anomalies and syndrome like Fitzsimmons Syndrome, Robinow Syndrome, Familial Hypertension, Spondyloperipheral Dysplasia, associated with short humerus & other skeletal features, and congenital scalp defect & distal limb anomalies. The Respondents also submitted that the scheme to establish Sainik Schools was introduced with the primary aim to preparing boys academically, physically, and mentally fit for entering into the National Defence Academy (‘NDA’). Moreover, the Rules and Regulations for admission to the School was subjected to candidates being found fit according to medical standards prescribed for the entry to the NDA.

Analysis, Law, and Decision

The Court noted that the said Rules and Regulations made it clear that after Written Examination/Entrance, a student had to go through the Medical Examination Test and unless, he/she be declared medically fit, he/she may not be admitted in the School. The Court further observed that, as per the Clause 4 of Medical Standards and Procedure of Medical Examination for Officer Entries into Army (“the Medical Standards”), a candidate shall be deemed to be medically fit, if he/she was in good mental health and free from any disease/syndrome/disability likely to interfere with any efficient performance, etc. In addition to it, the candidate should be of good health. There should be no evidence of weak constitution, imperfect development of any system, any congenital deformity/diseases/syndrome or malformation.

With the perusal of the submission, the Court noted that the Petitioner was found to have a Bilateral Brachydactyly fourth toes, which represented a congenital insufficiency. Further, it stated that there should be no evidence of weak constitution, imperfect development of any system, any congenital deformity/diseases/syndrome or malformation, as per the Medical Standards.

The Court opined that, the Medical Standards cannot be read in a manner that despite any deformity if a candidate was in a good physical and mental health and deformity may not interfere with his efficient performance, he/she may be declared medically fit.

[Prakriti Maulekhi v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Utt 1291, judgement dated 26-09-2023]

*Judgement authored by – Justice Ravindra Maithani

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the Petitioner: Mr. Suman Negi, Advocate

For the Respondents: Mr. S.C. Dumka, Advocate

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