Thursday, February 18, 2021

Calcutta High Court: Removal from Job solely on ground of disability is violative of RPWD Act 2016

Court:                   Calcuta High Court

Bench:                  Justice Ravi Krishan Kapur 

Case Title:           Dr. Shishir Kumar Biswas Vs. State of West Bengal & Ors.

Case No. :            W.P.A. 16042 of 2018

Date of Order:   18.02.2021


Case brief:

Calcutta High Court has ruled that removing a disabled person from a job solely on the ground of his physical disability is a violation of the Rights of PwD (Persons with Disabilities) Act of 2016 and has set aside an order removing a blind Professor from the position of Head of the Bengali Department by the Haringhata Mahavidyalaya, primarily on the ground of his physical disability.

The petitioner, Dr. Shishir Kumar Biswas, a blind professor at Haringhata Mahavidyalaya was removed from the post of Head of Bengali Department due to his physical disability. The court observed that the act was a violation of three provisions of the Rights of PwD Act, particularly Section 20 of the  Act, which states that there cannot be any sort of discrimination against a person with any kind of disability in a matter that is related to his employment. The petitioner stated that the act of the concerned college was a clear violation of his constitutional rights and is not only illegal but also against the morals and principles of natural justice.

The court noted that the memo dated 31st July, 2017, whereby the petitioner was removed, is in direct violation and contravention of the provisions of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016.

"On a perusal of the impugned Memo it is evident that save and except physical disability on the ground of eye blindness, there is no other ground alleged in the impugned Memo whereby the petitioner has been removed as Departmental Head from the Department of Bengali in the concerned college.

I find that impugned Memo is also in direct violation and contravention of the 3 provisions of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016 and particularly violative of the provisions of Section 20 of the said Act," the Bench said.

Section 20 provides that no Government establishment shall discriminate against any person with disability in any matter relating to employment. Every Government establishment shall provide reasonable accommodation and appropriate barrier free and conducive environment to employees with disability.

The court observed that there is nothing on record to support the impugned actions taken by the Managing Committee of the college. It thus set aside the impugned memo and directed the Respondent-authorities to take appropriate steps in accordance with law.

Read the embedded judgement below:

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