SC directs Centre to appoint visually challenged man to IAS

A Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph also directed the Centre to pay a cost of Rs 20,000 to Gupta who had successfully argued his own case in the apex court.
The apex court passed the direction in a judgement upholding the findings of the Delhi High Court that the government was under an obligation to fill up the seven posts lying vacant since 1996 reserved for persons with disabilities under the Disabilities Act. The Bench rejected the argument of the Centre that the posts could be filled up only after they are identified.

"The submission made on behalf of the Union of India regarding the implementation of the provisions of Section 33 of the Disabilities Act, 1995, that only after identification of posts suitable for such appointment, under Section 32 thereof, runs counter to the legislative intent with which the Act was enacted.

"To accept such a submission would amount to accepting a situation where the provisions of Section 33 of the aforesaid Act could be kept deferred indefinitely by bureaucratic inaction," the apex court said.

The Delhi High Court had in Feburary 25, 2009, passed a similar direction asking the government to appoint Gupta and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000. Aggrived, the Centre moved the apex court.

Prakash cleared the civil service examination in 2006 but was denied an appointment by the Department of Personnel and Training on the ground that there was only one post meant for handicapped persons, which included persons with other physical disablities.

Interpreting the provisions of the Disabilities Act, the apex court said it was true that unless posts are identified for the purposes of Section 33 of the aforesaid Act, no appointments from the reserved categories contained therein can be made.

However, it said "such dependence would be for the purpose of making appointments and not for the purpose of making reservation. In other words, reservation under Section 33 of the Act is not dependent on identification, as urged on behalf of the Union of India, though a duty has been cast upon the appropriate government to make appointments in the number of posts reserved for the three categories mentioned in Section 33 of the Act in respect of persons suffering from the disabilities spelt out therein."

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