SC orders 3 pc job quota for disabled

SC orders 3 pc job quota for disabled

In a landmark judgment aimed at empowering people with disability, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Centre and state governments to provide them 3 per cent reservation in all categories of posts and in all government departments.

The apex court also relaxed the upper limit of 50 per cent while implementing reservation for the disabled.

The Supreme Court directed the “appropriate government” to compute the number of vacancies available in all “establishments” and further identify posts for disabled people within a period of three months.

It also directed the governments to issue instructions that non-compliance on the part of those responsible would lead to departmental proceedings.

The 3 per cent reservation will be provided in such a manner that 1 per cent each will go to the blind, hearing and speech impaired and persons suffering from locomotor disability or cerebral palsy.

The court also clarified why the verdict—which says that reservation should not exceed the limit of 50 per cent—will not be applicable in this case. It has said that the nature of this reservation is horizontal against that for backward classes, which is vertical.

The disabled may be placed in the respective categories of SC, ST and Backward Castes or open; thereby it will not affect vertical reservations. 

“Employment is a key factor in the empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities. It is an alarming reality that the disabled are out of job not because their disability comes in the way of their functioning, rather it is the social and practical barriers that prevent them from joining the workforce,” the bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi said.

“As a result, many disabled people live in poverty and deplorable conditions. They are denied the right to make a useful contribution to their own lives and to the lives of their families and community,” the bench observed.

NGO National Federation of the Blind had sought implementation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, on the grounds that the Centre and states failed to provide reservation to the blind and people with low vision and they were virtually excluded from the process of recruitment to government posts as stipulated under the Act.

The Centre had moved the apex court against the Delhi High Court decision which had entertained the NGO’s plea and issued various directions to it.

The bench said computation of reservation for disabled persons has to be done in case of posts falling under all the Groups from A, B, C and D in an identical manner. It directed for “computing 3 per cent reservation on total number of vacancies in the cadre strength”.

It struck down several clauses of the December 29, 2005, official memorandum (OM) of Department of Personnel and Training, which were not in consonance with the apex court’s reasoning related to computation, and directed the governments to issue a new OM in consonance with its judgment. “Accordingly, certain clauses in the OM dated 29.12.2005, which are contrary to the above reasoning are struck down and we direct the appropriate government to issue new office memorandum(s) consistent with the decision rendered by this court,” the bench said.

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