Thursday, September 8, 2022

Allahabad HC stays the recruitments to Teaching Posts in Dr. Shakuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University for non compliance to reservation provisons of RPWD Act

Court : Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench, UP, India

Bench: Hon'ble Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, J. & Hon'ble Shi Prakash Singh, J.

Case No. :  WPIL (L) No. 185 of 2022 (Public Interest Litigation)

Case Title: All India Confederation Of The Blind Delhi & Another  Versus   - State Of U.P. Thru Its Addl. Chief Secy. Divyangjan Sashaktikaran Vibhag, Lko And Dr. Shakuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University 

Date of Order: 08 Sep 2022

Next Date of Hearing: 09 Nov 2022.

Brief Case:

The rights of Persons with Disabilities often fall in to the cracks that exist between words and deeds in policies and actions of various statutory bodies. A recent case in point is Dr. Shakuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University in Lucknow, U.P. which according to its own website is "The first University of its kind, which also provides accessible and quality higher education to challenged students, in a completely barrier-free environment."

However, early during this year it was observed by the petitioner organisation All India Confederation of the Blind that the noble statements  of the university were mere words as in its advertisement for 107 vacancies, not a single vacancy was reserved for Persons with Disabilities and not just that- the University even one appointment against the teaching posts. This is in a University which has its mandate to primarily "serve the differently-abled segment". 

The petitioners alleged that the university issued advertisements in 2020- 2021 for appointment on 16 posts of professor, 27 of associate professor and 64 of assistant professor in various subjects which summed up to 107 vacancies wherein but it failed to reserve four per cent vacancies for persons with benchmark disabilities of which 1% vacancies were not reserved for blind persons.

After several hearings, finally on 8th September, 2022, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court expressed serious concern over Dr Shakuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University's failure to provide adequate quota to the disabled with regard to about 107 teaching posts advertised in 2020- 2021 . The university has assured the bench that till the entire matter was revisited and final decision was taken in respect of reservation of vacancies in terms of the provisions contained in Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and the relevant government orders, no selection pursuant to the advertisement in question would take place. 

At this, the bench said, "We expect and hope that the university authorities shall pay attention and consider the entire matter not only in terms of the legal provisions, but by observing some empathy for the reason that the university itself has been created and formed for larger benefits of differently abled persons." 

A bench of Justice DK Upadhyay and Justice Shree Prakash Singh passed the order on a PIL moved by All India Confederation of the Blind, Delhi through its secretary Gauri Sen and National Association of Visually Handicap. The bench on a previous hearing had expressed concern that no reservation was provided against the advertised posts though the university was primarily established for benefit and rehabilitation of differently abled persons

The bench also said that an appointment made by the university for the post of professor in Hindi department would be subject to final decision of the instant petition. The bench also directed the registrar of the university to have an audience of the petitioner's counsel and an intervener on the issue.

Matter is now listed on 09 Nov 2022. 

Read the Order dated 08 Sep 2022 embedded below:

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