Monday, August 5, 2013

Mechanical and Rigid implementation of Disabilities Act is against the legislative intent

Dear Colleagues,

The cases as below wherein the courts as well as lawyers fail to appreciate the basic intention of the legislature behind the benevolent Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 are indicative of the ignorance in the legal fraternity on the rights of the persons with disabilities.

The DoPT memorandum dated 29 Dec 2005 categorically states in para 22 as under:
22. RELAXATION OF STANDARD OF SUITABILITY: If sufficient number of persons with disabilities are not available on the basis of the general standard to fill all the vacancies reserved for them, candidates belonging to this category may be selected on relaxed standard to fill up the remaining vacancies reserved for
them provided they are not found unfit for such post or posts. Thus, to the extent the number of vacancies reserved for persons with disabilities cannot be filled on the basis of general standards, candidates belonging to this category may be taken by relaxing the standards to make up the deficiency in the reserved quota subject to the fitness of these candidates for appointment to the post / posts in question. 
However, rigid cut off marks as 90% would defeat the very purpose of the Disabilities Act and the courts must look at the legislative intent before dismissing such petitions mechanically. An appeal against this order must be preferred in the next superior court to set the things right.

Here is the news coverage from Indian Express 16 Jul 2013


No quota job if cut-off isn't met

The Madras High Court on Monday rejected a plea from K Kumaravelu of Marudhur South village in Nagapattinam district, praying for a direction to Teacher Recruitment Board (TRB) to appoint him as a secondary grade teacher under the priority quota for physically-disabled persons.

After passing the higher secondary examination, Kumaravelu, belonging to a backward class community, completed diploma in teacher education, in 2009. During his school days, he met with an accident and his right leg below the knee had been amputated.

He was issued a certificate by the Joint Director, Medical and Rural Health and Family Welfare in Nagai, fixing his disability at 60 per cent. He also appeared for the TET and obtained 83 per cent marks.

The petitioner contended that against the total vacancy of 12,000 posts, 3 per cent of 360 posts had to be earmarked for the disabled under Sec 33 of the Person with Disability Act, 1995.

Very few candidates were selected under this section. Hence, he must be given accommodation, after giving relaxation in the requirement of 90 per cent marks, he pleaded.

Additional Government Pleader P Sanjay Gandhi submitted that the minimum eligibility marks under the Act was 90 per cent.

No person could claim any relaxation in the matter, he added.

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