Challenging rejection of reservation for Persons with Disabilities

George Paily Vs. Union of India, W.P. (C) 2508/2020 | Supreme Court | Status: Pending | |

The Petitioner is a person having 50% disability on account of vision impairment. He has successfully completed bachelor’s degree in Economics from Kerala University and later did his MA and M-Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The 2nd respondent issued notification inviting application for the post of officer in Grade B (DR) to be filled up by candidates having requisite qualification. As per S.34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 persons having certain disabilities are entitled to reservation in government jobs. Hence, out of 22 vacancies one vacancy was reserved for persons with Benchmark disability.

The petitioner applied for the post online and was issued with an admission letter. The venue of examination was fixed at the office of the 3rd respondent at Thiruvananthapuram. After completing the written examination, the petitioner was called for an interview at the office of Reserve Bank of India at Chennai. The petitioner appeared for the interview on the notified date at Chennai. Thereafter the petitioner obtained the mark sheet published in the website of the 2nd respondent in respect of the written examination and interview, in which the total mark obtained by the petitioner was shown as 204.01. The cut-off mark prescribed for general category candidates as well as persons with disability was 241.66 whereas the cut-off mark prescribed for candidates belonging to other backward communities and scheduled caste was fixed at 207.33. Therefore, it is clear that no relaxation in cut-off mark is given to candidates having physical disability.

Since the cut-off marks prescribed by the 2nd respondent was unreasonable and against the provisions of the statute the petitioner submitted a representation before the 2nd respondent requesting to reconsider his candidature and give him employment. It was rejected by the 2nd respondent stating that no further reservation is provided for candidate with bench mark disabilities, and they have to be placed in the appropriate category i.e.SC/ST, OBC or General after a grace mark of 7% is given. In other words even though the petitioner has 50% blindness and is eligible to be considered in the quota reserved for candidates with physical disability he is considered for the appointment under the general quota and thus the cut-off mark prescribed for the selection of the PWD candidate is same as to a candidate belonging to the general category. The government has issued office memorandum dated 15/01/2018 prescribing the manner in which reservation is to be provided for persons with bench mark disabilities. In the Office Memorandum it has been clearly stated that if sufficient number of candidates with bench mark disabilities are not available then candidate belonging to any other PWD category may be selected on relaxed stand to fill up the vacancies. On the basis of a query made by the petitioner under the RTI Act, the respondent has informed that there is one vacancy reserved for candidate with physical disability which has not been filled up so far. Even though the petitioner had represented the matter before the 2nd respondent the same has been rejected without any application of mind.