Five visually impaired aspirants who had cracked the civil services examination but weren't given a job on Tuesday pleaded with the Prime Minister to see through the red tape that prevented them from taking their rightful place.
The five included Ajit Kumar, who continues to teach in a Delhi college though he qualified for the Indian Administrative Service on the basis of the exam held in 2008.
Other candidates who had scored lower marks than him and Ashish Singh Thakur (who was not in the delegation on Tuesday) had been allocated the IAS, said Muralidharan, assistant convener of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled.
Thakur had joined the Indian Revenue Service in protest. Rajya Sabha MP Brinda Karat and Muralidharan accompanied the delegation to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
In five other cases (apart from Thakur and Kumar), Muralidharan said the visually impaired candidates had cleared the examination and even got a favourable order from the Central Administrative Tribunal. But the department of personnel did not act in their favour.
This is not the first time that disabled candidates have not been allotted the desired service despite getting the requisite marks. In at least two cases, the aspirants were allotted the IAS after a legal battle that went right up to the Supreme Court.