Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Chhattisgarh HC directs the PSC Raipur to appoint Visually Impaired Candidate who was denied appointment despite her merit position as the assistant did not mark her Physically Disabled in the form.

Court: Chhattisgarh High Court, Raipur

Bench: Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas

Case No.:  WP(S) 4572 of 2020

Case Title: Bhojkumari Patel Vs. Chhattishgarh Public Service Commission Raipur

Brief

The Chhattisgarh high court has allowed a writ petition, filed by a 26-year-old visually impaired girl, Ms. Bhojkumari Patel and directed the state public service commission (PSC) to issue a selection list so that the higher education department can appoint her assistant professor of political science in the ‘blind’ category. 

The bench ordered the PSC to complete the process within 15 days of receiving the order, and the higher education department to issue an appointment order to petitioner within a month. It is not in dispute that the petitioner is 90% blind, the court said, adding that she fulfils all the criteria for the appointment and even “stood in the merit position” in the exam for assistant professor (blind category), yet her appointment has been denied.

The court said the inaction of the PSC in issuing an appointment order to a person with a disability goes against the aims and object of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Bhojkumari Patel shared that she had to fight a legal battle for one and a half years to get justice because of an inadvertent error when she took assistance at a cybercaf√© to fill her application. She is hopeful of getting her  appointment order by December 2022.

The PSC had issued an advertisement on August 23, 2019, for appointments to the post of assistant professor. Patel has a masters’ in political science and cleared NET. Her blindness certificate was issued by Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS-Delhi.

Being 90% blind, she was allowed the assistance of scribes to write the examination. She secured the highest mark in her category and was selected for the interview phase. She was shocked when she didn’t find her name on the list of selected candidates. 

On inquiring, she found that the person who helped fill her application had clicked ‘no’ in the column for ‘physical disability’. Therefore, she was not selected. She then submitted an application with the PSC on June 21, 2021, for rectification of the mistake, but it was not considered, her counsel submitted in court, pointing out that her admit card clearly said she was 90% visually impaired. The court passed an interim order on July 5, 2021, for reserving one post in the physically handicapped (blind) OBC female category. 

During the pendency of the petition, the state sanctioned six supernumerary posts in the blind category on November 30, 2021, in which two were for political science. The state had asked the PSC to send the selection list against these posts, but it had not considered the case of the petitioner. 

Patel’s counsel argued that scribes are provided only when a person is more than 40% disabled, and here the petitioner is 90% blind, which has been certified by the government doctor

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