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Disabled man fights bias

The exam results of more than 220 successful candidates for government jobs may be delayed because Abhay Katkar (26) doesn’t see why his physical disability should disqualify him from getting that job.

mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2010 02:49 IST
Urvi Mahajani

The exam results of more than 220 successful candidates for government jobs may be delayed because Abhay Katkar (26) doesn’t see why his physical disability should disqualify him from getting that job.

Katkar — who wrote the 2008 Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam for jobs in the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Irrigation Department — has approached the Bombay High Court alleging discrimination.

He has asked that final results of the successful candidates not be declared until MPSC declares the results of his written exam.

Katkar does not have his left arm and a thumb on his right hand. He graduated with distinction in Civil Engineering and did a Masters in Technology. Now, he's challenging two government resolutions (May 2004 and October 2005) that bar the selection of people with disability in both arms.

His advocate, Shekhar Jagtap, said the government has not even identified positions for the disabled in their departments, a requisite of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

Responding to a government advertisement in newspapers in 2007, Katkar applied to write the exam, clearly mentioning he is 40 per cent disabled, and attached a medical

certificate that said he has “Bilateral Radical Ray Deficiency”.

He received a hall ticket, and wrote the exam without any objection to his disability. After 13 months, MPSC announced, both, the successful and unsuccessful candidates. Katkar’s name was not on either of the lists.

In June 2009, MPSC interviewed the successful candidates, who were later called for medical tests. The final result is awaited. Despite personally approaching the relevant authorities and writing letters, Katkar has still not got his results for the written exam.

On one occasion, a clerk at the MPSC office told him since he is disabled in both hands, his application was treated as null and void. The clerk cited the two government resolutions.

Alleging discrimination, Katkar has said he had clearly mentioned his disability in his application form.

The form was accepted and he was allowed to write the exams.