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SC allows disability quota in promotions for government jobs

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People with disabilities are entitled to reservation in promotion for government jobs, the Supreme Court has ruled, clearing a major hurdle for millions who face difficulties and discrimination in professional and personal life.

The top court decision breaks away from a string of recent judgments – the latest in March -- that said the government wasn’t bound to give reservation in job promotions to scheduled castes and tribes. Under a 1995 law, the government identifies 3% jobs as suitable for persons with disabilities (PWD) but doesn’t enforce the same quota in promotions. This meant disabled people could not be appointed to government posts that are meant to be filled up by promotion only.


Victims’ families in north-east hail AFSPA directive

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Human rights activists and family members of the 1,528 missing persons have welcomed the Friday’s Supreme Court directive regarding 62 missing persons. Meihoubam Rakesh, director of the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), which had filed the petition relating to the 1528 cases told The Hindu that he welcomed the order. However he said justice could be meted out expeditiously if there was a fast track system instead of the conventional method.

When the cases were brought up, the Supreme Court had selected six cases randomly and one of them was the case of Azad Khan (12), a class VII student. How could a 12-year-old student be a terrorist, an apex court judge wanted to know.

Azad was reading a newspaper in a neighbour's verandah on March 4, 2009 waiting for his friend to go to school, when police commandos and some army personnel raided nearby houses. Some of them beat up the boy and frogmarched him to the nearby field while parents and others followed them pleading to set him free since he was innocent.


Offloading: Pay Rs 10 lakh to flyer with cerebral palsy, SC to SpiceJet

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REGRETTING THAT the mindset of "able" persons adversely impact the human rights of the differently-abled, the Supreme Court Thursday ordered SpiceJet airlines to pay Rs 10 lakh as damages to a flyer, suffering from cerebral palsy, who was forcibly offloaded in 2012.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and R K Agrawal said that despite all regulations, there are hardly any meaningful attempts to assimilate the disabled in the mainstream of the nation's life and that the apathy towards their problems is so pervasive that even the number of disabled persons existing in the country is not well documented.

The bench noted that differently-abled flyer Jeeja Ghosh was not given "appropriate, fair and caring treatment", which she required with "due sensitivity" and the decision to de-board her was "uncalled for" and violation of "human dignity".

Ghosh, an eminent activist involved in disability rights, was offloaded from a SpiceJet flight in February 2012 from Kolkata when she was going to attend a conference in Goa hosted by NGO ADAPT (Able Disable All People Together).


Budget 2015-16 Will Give You Less Than 3% Percent GDP, Says Colin Gonsalves

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Behind all the jargons of budget figures it is business as usual, politics has changed but the budget remains the same, says Colin Gonsalves 

Colin Gonsalves, Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court of India & Founder Director of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), spoke to BW|Businessworld's Sapna Bhardwaj on his expectations from the Union Budget 2015-2016. He asserted that behind all the jargons of the budget figures it is business-as-usual, politics has changed : the budget is the same. He was talking on the sidelines of BW|Businessworld Urban India Conclave 2015.


Remove DAA to revoke AFSPA, says Justice Nazki

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SRINAGAR: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which provides immunity to soldiers operating in J&K, can’t be revoked as long as the Disturbed Area Act (DAA) is in place, a former Chief Justice of Orissa High Court said Saturday.

AFSPA is in place because DAA is here. To invoke AFSPA power is with President of India or Governor of the state,” said Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki while speaking at a seminar here. He said Kashmir was declared as a ‘disturbed area’ “on the instructions of the then Home Minister of India, who happened to be a Kashmiri (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) through then Governor of the state.”

Nazki, who is chairperson of Bihar’s State Human Rights Commission, said AFSPA can be revoked if there is a political will. “But there should be a mechanism even within the AFSPA. Let them decide first.”

Nazki said AFSPA has been a problem for the Northeast as well where it is in place for the past six decades. He said J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah “tried his best” to get AFSPA revoked from certain areas of the state but he didn’t get support from any corner. Omar talked for the revocation of the law from certain areas for years. Did he get the support? No. If it was an issue like age enhancement (of employees) he would have got it,” Naziki said that human rights situation in many parts of India, where AFSPA is not in vogue, “is worse than Kashmir.

In his address, senior Supreme Court lawyer Colin Gonsalves said certain parts of judiciary “take part on the side of state.”He said though most of Kashmiris do not trust Indian judiciary, “certain latest judgments have kindled a ray of hope to get certain amount of justice.”
We all know how difficult it is to get justice. Chance of victory may be small but it is there. You must take whatever opportunity you may have slight chance and that chance is worth taking,” Gonsalves said.

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HRLN is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.