In a landmark judgment primarily benefiting 15 million visually challenged persons in the country, Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to reserve three per cent jobs in government and Public Sector Undertakings for the disabled. This includes one per cent reservation for the visually impaired.
The court order came on a Public Interest Litigation filed by a visually challenged lawyer, S.K. Rungta, who contended that though the Disabilities Act, 1995, made it obligatory for the government to reserve 3 per cent jobs for the disabled, it largely remained merely on paper.
Rungta said the Ministry of Social Justice had gone back on its promise in this regard made 31 years ago. “Even if some department provided jobs to the deaf and locomotor disabled, the government has been terribly insensitive to the blind community,” said Rungta who is also the general secretary of National Federation of Blind.
He said a bench of Chief Justice AP Shah and S. Muralidhar ruled that persons with disabilities are entitled to reservation of posts to the extent of 3% against the total strength of an establishment out of which 1% each has to be distributed among persons suffering from blindness and low vision, persons suffering from hearing impairment and persons suffering from locomotor disability.
Rungta said the court also directed filling up of all backlog by December 2010.
“For this purpose a special recruitment drive will be undertaken and during this period there will be no other recruitment except for disabled persons,” he said.
The court has also constituted a committee to monitor the implementation of this decision. But it has also empowered the committee to grant permission to appoint non-disabled persons in a given department in very exceptional administrative exigencies.
The Ministry of Personnel and Staff Selection Commission had claimed implementation of reservation on the basis of “vacancies occurring every year” but Rungta produced RTI responses which give contradictory impression.