Keep judge slot for 70% blind lawyer, SC tells Tamil Nadu govt
A Subramani, TNN | Jul 18, 2015, 05.54PM IST
CHENNAI: A CBI prosecutor suffering 70% blindness is close to realizing his dream of becoming a judicial magistrate, as the Supreme Court has directed Tamil Nadu government to keep one post of civil judge vacant for him.
An interim order to this effect was passed by a bench of Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice S A Bobde on July 10.
Though V Surendra Mohan, 29, of Thiruvotriyur in Chennai got through written examination his name was not shortlisted for viva voce. He filed a writ petition for inclusion in the interview list. As an interim order, the court allowed him to take part in the interview and the result was kept in a sealed envelope. When it was opened after a later order, it was revealed that Surendra Mohan had secured 178 marks out of 400 in written examination, and 38.25 marks out of 60 in viva voce. To a court query, Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission said he was well within the zone of consideration and appointment for a civil judge post.
However, he was not considered for appointment since he suffered more than 50% visual disability, whereas a proposed amendment to rules limited the disability between 40% and 50% for eligible candidates.
On June 5, the high court upheld his exclusion saying, "Taking into account the nature of duties to be performed by the civil judge, the government in consultation with the high court, had proposed to restrict the applicability of the benefit of reservation only to those whose disability ranges from 40% to 50%."
Surendra Mohan took the case to the Supreme Court saying the high court "wholly erroneously relied on admittedly a 'proposed amendment' to deprive him of his right to be appointed as a civil judge on the basis of his partial blindness as provided under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995."
The judgment proceeds to reject the petitioner's claim without either an executive order or an amendment coming into force, he said, adding, "without the law having been changed, there was no basis for the judgment at all."
Reiterating that there is no way he could be excluded from the selection process, he said a GO dated April 11, 2005 clearly notified that PB (partially blind) persons are eligible for civil judge post. "The petitioner, who has 70% partial blindness, cannot in any way be excluded from the recruitment, he said, adding that the high court judgment overlooked the overwhelming discrimination in the system against the disabled, and in an egregious step it excludes the only fully eligible blind man."
Source: Times of India