The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra Government to file an affidavit by January 24 on whether further classification can be made between fully blind and partially blind candidates in the 1 per cent employment reservation as provided in law.
A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by an NGO Satyashodh and two fully blind candidates. The petition alleges that there is discrimination between partially blind candidates and fully blind candidates for the posts reserved for the blind.
According to a government resolution passed under the Disabilities (Equal Protection and Participation) Act, one per cent posts were reserved for blind candidates. However the petitioners claimed that only partially blind candidates are given the job under the reserved category. The petitioners, Dinkar Zagade and Sanjay Shedge, who are both completely blind, stated that in the previous 5 years only one fully blind person has been given a job in the reserved whereas 15 partially blind persons have been assigned to the reserved posts.
According to a sanction given by the state, 366 posts were reserved for blind candidates out of which there was a backlog of 134 posts. The petitioner states that, the collector of Statara had however in a letter dated October 20, 2005 had claimed that there is no backlog remaining and no reservation has been made specifically for fully blind candidates. The petitioners further state that out of the 12 posts reserved for blind candidates, 11 were filled by partially blind candidates.
The petitioners requested the court to take steps under the provisions of the disability act and to grant benefits to fully blind persons. The petitioners had also requested the court to restrain the state from recruiting partially blind persons in posts that are reserved for fully blind persons.