HC Allows FTII To Reject Colour-Blind Student For Editing Course

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Mumbai: In a setback to a colour blind youth, Bombay high court recalled its order directing Film and Television Institute of India to grant him provisional admission to the film editing course.

A bench of Justices Shantanu Khemkar and Prakash Naik took note of FTII’s submission that since the first semester was over, and also its examination, it was not possible to accommodate Patna-based Ashutosh Kumar directly into the second semester which had started. The court’s order came on a review petition filed by FTII, which urged the court to recall its January 18 order to admit Ashutosh to the three-year post-graduate diploma course.

Ashutosh had applied to FTII and appeared for an exam in April 2015. When the results were out in June 2016, he was selected. When he reported in July for orientation, he was told to do a medical examination, which revealed he was suffering from colour blindness and low vision. A report from the Pune government hospital said his colour vision was partially defective. FTII then wrote to Ashutosh that he was not eligible for the course and why candidates suffering from colour blindness were unsuitable for editing. His petition said under Right to Information, he learnt from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute that it does not discriminate against candidates with colour blindness or partial defect. After he got relief from HC, FTII moved a review petition. Its petition stated that if colour blind persons edited films it would lead to a loss of crores of rupees for producers.

Ashutosh’s advocate argued that FTII’s stand that the first semester was over was known at the time of the January 18 order and no case was made out for its review. But the judges found merit in FTII’s submission. “It is open for the petitioner to apply for admission of the first semester of the next year without prejudice to his contentions raised in the petition,” they said in the February 1 order.

Ashutoshs’ petition had urged the court to declare that part of FTII’s prospectus disallowing persons with colour blindness from pursing the film-editing course as violative of the Right to Equality and Right to Life. The court has posted the next hearing on February 21.