Showing posts with label Reservation for persons with Disabilities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reservation for persons with Disabilities. Show all posts

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:

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Allahabad HC directs compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs for violation of human dignity of a person with disability during recruitment exercise

Court: Allahabd High Court, UP, India 

Bench: Hon'ble Saumitra Dayal Singh,J.

Case No. : Writ - A No. - 18302 of 2021

Case title - Pradeep Kumar Gupta v. State Of U.P. Through Secretary ( Higher Education) And 4 Others 

Date of Order: 31.08.2022

Case Brief 

The petitioner who is 56-year-old and a person with disability having 50% locomotor disability, had applied for the post of a Library Peon at a Government Degree College in Saharanpur. The essential qualifications for the said post prescribed were Class V pass and ability to ride cycle. 

He was called for an interview, however, in the interview, the petitioner was not evaluated and he was purportedly asked to leave as he could not ride a bicycle. The principal forced the petitioner to ride a bicycle though he expressed he could ride a tricycle with equal efficiency. Subsequently, a higher educational qualification (for the post of Library Peon) of High School was insisted and since the petitioner did not hold that qualification, he was excluded. 

The petitioner thus moved to the High Court claiming the violation of his rights and alleging humiliation caused to him, mainly by the then Principal of the Government Degree College, who interviewed him. He also alleged hostile discrimination having been practised by the State respondents and a complete violation of his special rights under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. 

He also argued that only to deprive him of an opportunity of employment, the selection process was stalled and higher educational qualification (than that possessed by the petitioner), was pressed so that the petitioner could be excluded from the zone of consideration. 

The petitioner also had escalated the issue and lodged complaints, as a result, the Regional Employment Exchange (Divyangjan), Meerut Division instituted an enquiry into the allegations levelled by the petitioner. It submitted report dated 23.11.2007 confirming the allegations as true.

Thereafter the court/office of State Commissioner (Divyangjan), exercising powers vested under Section 82 of the Old Act directed the District Magistrate, Saharanpur and the Additional Commissioner (Divyangjan), Saharanpur, to institute a magisterial enquiry into the complaint made by the petitioner. Admittedly, the magisterial enquiry was conducted and its report submitted on 09.09.2019. In that, the Magistrate found the fact allegation made by the petitioner to be correct.

Also, upon receipt of direction issued by the court/office of State Commissioner (Divyangjan) dated 23.05.2019, the District Magistrate, Saharanpur, acting as the Additional Commissioner (Divyangjan), Saharanpur, made his own enquiry and passed an order dated 30.11.2019, confirming the allegations of the petitioner as true and recommending action agaisnt respondents.

At that stage and in view of the order dated 30.11.2019 passed by District Magistrate, Saharanpur, the petitioner withdrew his earlier writ petition No. 17917 of 2007, in belief of appointment thus assured to him.

However, the above order was assailed by the then Principal of the Government Degree College, Deoband, Saharanpur, in Writ – A No. 1975 of 2020 (Ashok Kumar Sharma Vs. State of U.P. & 3 Ors.). It transpires, in the course of those proceedings, office of the District Magistrate/Additional Commissioner (Divyangjan), Saharanpur, vide further order dated 17.02.2020 withdrew in entirety its earlier order dated 30.11.2019.

Thus the petitioner again approached this court with the present petiton at a delayed stage.

Court Order

The Court, affirming the importance of human dignity, the granted a sum of Rs. 5 Lakh as compensation to the petitioner. While partly alowing the petition of the petitioner Pradeep Kumar Gupta, the court remarked, "The amount of compensation has been awarded to let the petitioner know, the State may take time to hear & understand its citizen and his plight but, it is neither deaf nor heartless as may ever remain indifferent, forcing him to drag his feet, almost literally, to this Court to seek justice. The citizen works at the heart of the giant being the State is. Unless the heart beats freely, the being cannot thrive." 

The Court expressed that the state was liable to compensate its 'special citizen' whose dignity was violated as he was humiliated at the instance of the State authorities, for no fault of his. The Court also emphasized that the State and its functionaries had failed to protect him, and the act of humiliation was against the mandate of the Constitution. 

"...the State and its functionaries have not only failed a special citizen but also violated his fundamental right to life and liberty - for what worth is human existence if it is denuded of dignity and respect deserving its cherished existence. Deprived of dignity, liberty is a sea-shell washed to the shore, dead and of ornate value for others but worthless to the being that used to live within it," the Court further observed.

The Court also added that the respondents are generally at fault in not providing for identification and reservation of adequate posts for persons with a locomotor disability at Government Degree College at Deoband, Saharanpur.  The Court called it "most disturbing" that instead of apprising him of the fact regarding non-availability of reservation, he was unfairly asked to ride a bicycle which he obviously could not. 

In any case, the Court opined, in absence of a specification of 'bicycle' in the advertisement, the petitioner should have been allowed to ride a 'tricycle' which also qualifies as a cycle. In other words, the Court clarified, that if otherwise eligible, the petitioner should have been allowed to compete as a General Category candidate. 

The court directed the State  to pay the petitioner, a lump-sum compensation assessed at Rs. 5,00,000/-  directly into his Savings Bank Account within a period of three months.

Read the order embedded below: