Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Kerala HC | Seema Lal & Ors Vs. State of Kerala & Ors | WP(C).No.15436 OF 2017(S) | 22 Jan 2020

Dear colleagues,

Boom in medical tourism in Ayurveda, Kerala - God's own country, has seen proliferation of therapeutic services. With a large number of professional nurses, trained paramedical manpower, the State has also seen rise in Therapy Centres focussed on improving functional abilities and management of disabling conditions in children with disabilities. 

Several parents of children with disabilities having felt exploited at the hands of these institutions and against unprofessionally managed services with least care to child rights,  had raised a campaign for regulation of these institutions in 2015. It was learnt by parents that neither the department of health nor the social justice, women and child departments had any authority to regulate these therapy centres. These centres simply ran under the Shops and Establishements Act in the name of regulation. Several media stories led to ordering of a probe by the then Ernakulam district collector M Rajamanickam to order a probe by health department. The state child rights commission also passed directives to the state government seeking regulations. However not much change happened on the ground forcing the parents to move Kerala High Court through a writ petition. During the course of hearings, and as a result of several interim orders, Government of Kerala state took some actions to regulate these institutions. 

The Court has passed its judgement on 22 Jan 2020 in this matter titled 'Seema Lal & Ors Vs. State of Kerala & Ors' WP(C).No.15436 OF 2017(S).

In its judgment, the court has asked the state to issue the guidelines and ensure that all centres are registered with a fixed timeline. The Govt. has accordingly issued notifications, wherein the qualifications of all therapists are defined, and specifications have been issued while setting up therapy centres. Now, all therapy centres providing services to persons with disabilities under a regulatory mechanism need registration before a competent authority notified by government as per Section 49 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

This is a step in right direction and must be followed up in other States as well.

Download a copy of the Judgement

Kerala High Court
Petitioners:        Seema Lal and Ors
Respondents:     State of Kerala and Ors
Case No. :          WP(C).No.15436 OF 2017(S)
Date of Order:    22 Jan 2020

Copy of the Judgement :- Download  or read below.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

SC once again reaffirms reservation in promotion for persons with disabilities in Siddaraju Vs. Govt. of Karnataka case [Judgement Included]

Court: Hon'ble Supreme Court of India
Bench: Rohinton Fali Nariman, Aniruddha Bose, V. Ramasubramanian
Case Title: Siddaraju vs The State Of Karnataka on 14-15 January, 2020
Case No.: 
Date of Judgement: 14-15 Jan 2020
Author: Rohinton Fali Nariman


Dear Colleagues,

Please refer to our following earlier posts on various attempts of the Union of India to deny reservation in promotion for persons with disabilities citing Indra Sawhney Judgement,

  1. Supreme Court says Section 33 entitles reservation for employees with disabilities in promotion in Group A, B, C and D alike [01 Jul 2016]
  2. SC dismisses yet another attempt of Centre to sabotage reservation for employees with disabilities in promotion [03 Mar 2015]
  3. SC clarifies 3% reservation in appointment for disabled extends to promotions & deputations as well [10 Oct 2014]
  4. Physically Challenged Versus Logically Challenged [10 Dec 2013]

On 14 Jan 2020, a three judge Bench of Hon'ble Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Hon'ble Justice Aniruddha Bose and Hon'ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian while hearing Civil Appeal  No. 1567 OF 2017 titled Siddaraju Vs. State of Karnataka and Ors and batch of connected matters, once again reiterated its earlier stand on reservation in promotion for persons with disabilities allowing reservation in promotion for persons with disabilities in all the groups alike vis. Gp A, B, C or D.

A two judge bench of the SC had earlier clarified the same issue in matter titled Rajeev Gupta Vs. Union of India decided on 30 Jun 2016 had held that the bar against reservation in promotion in the Indra Sawhney judgment did not apply to persons with disabilities. The Court had then held that wherever posts are identified as suitable for persons with disabilities, 3% reservation must be given in direct recruitment as well as in promotion for employees with disabilities in Group A and B as it is given in Group C and D. The Govt. of India decided to however,  challenged it once again when the matter was referred to the present three judge bench to decide the question whether persons with disabilities were entitled to being granted reservation in promotion in view of the bar against reservation in promotion in the Indra Sawhney judgment along with batch of connected matters.

The lead case this time was Siddaraju vs The State Of Karnataka. In the instant case,  a disabled employee of the Karnataka Government approached the Karnataka High Court, seeking the benefit of reservation in promotion. The High Court dismissed his case in March 2016, before the SC judgment in Rajeev Kumar Gupta’s case was pronounced. Siddaraju appealed before the Supreme Court, and on 05 Jan 2017, a two judge bench presided over by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel referred the matter to a larger (i.e. three judge) bench. Justice Goel’s bench felt that the Government’s contention that reservation in promotion was constitutionally impermissible, according to the 1992 SC judgment in Indra Sawhney’s case, deserved further consideration.

The three judge bench has once again reiterated its stand that Indra Sawhney judgement only applied to reservations under Art 16(4) of Constitution of India in favour of backward classes being a vertical reservation. The reservation in favour of persons with disabilities was covered under Article 16(1) and was a horizontal reservation and did not affect the total 50% ceiling of reservation.

Below is the judgement delivered on 14-15 Jan 2020 in the lead case Siddaraju vs The State Of Karnataka: