Thursday, April 9, 2009

Delhi High Court gets tough on Railways for failing to fill up the reserved seats of Disabled

Dear Friends,

An update on the case being argued currently by Mr. Mani, my colleage at AICB's Advocacy Committee which incidently I had filed few years back!

The High Court is taking the matter seriously as it is seized with the matter for a long time now. I have a fear- a genuine fear! The recruiting organisations often count the candidates on reserved seats even if they clear on their own merit thereby limiting the recruitment prospects. Thus the reservation policy often works counter-productive.

Till today, I have not come across any case where the person even though higher in the merit and selected in Disabled Quota ever went and challenged as to why he was selected in reserved quota and not on his own merit - for his job is done and he doesn't want to antagonise the employer.

Others never come to know about the waiting list unless they apply for it under RTI. Thus many who genuinely need that reservation to find an employment never get that.

Another area of concern is counting an old employee who was recruited as non-disabled but acquired disability during his service, in disability quota . This also further restricts the quota and doesn't give clear picture of the implementation of the reservation policy of the employer. Well, this needs some serious cogitation!

regards

Subhash Chandra Vashishth
09811125521

Here is the press release :

New Delhi, Monday, 6th April 2009:

While hearing a petition filed by AllIndia Confederation of the Blind relating to violation of persons withdisabilities Act by the Indian Railways, a division bench of the Delhi High Court headed by Justice A. P. Shah (Chief Justice) sharply criticized the railways for not adhering to the court orders of 20th January 2009 directing it to maintain a roster with regard to appointments of disabled persons in Railways.

Earlier, a joint report worked out by the petitioner and the respondent asper the directions of the Delhi High Court had stated that there was awhopping backlog to the extent of 4254 vacancies on which disabled persons should have been appointed as per the persons with disabilities Act, but therailways did not adhere to the provisions of this Act.

Mr. Rajan Mani, counsel for the petitioner, All India Confederation of the Blind, argued that maintaining a roster was the first step towards ensuring reservations for disabled persons. ”Clearly, the Railways is not serious about fulfilling its statutory obligations,” he argued.

The honuorable Chief Justice observed that non compliance of court ordersamounted to contempt of the Court. He directed that Secretary Railways /Member (staff recruitments) be present in person on Monday 13th April 2009.The court also directed Railways to start special recruitment drive toappoint disabled persons by utilizing at least 50% of the available vacancies for this purpose. In a landmark order the court also directed therailways that no recruitment will take place unless provision is made tofill up 4254 vacancies reserved for disabled persons.

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