September 21, 2014

NPRD Welcomes SC Verdict on Reservations for Disabled

THE National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), in a statement issued on September 13, has welcomed the judgment of the Supreme Court setting at rest all hitherto misinterpretations of the three percent reservation provided to persons with disabilities as per the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. The Court has ruled that the three percent reservation applies not just to recruitment to all categories, but to departmental promotions as well. The apex court while holding that the centre, states and union territories were obligated to implement the provision of reservation for persons with disabilities, reiterated that the principle of not exceeding 50 percent reservation would not be applicable while granting quota for persons with disabilities. The Court had in October 2013 ruled that the policy of reservations for persons with disabilities was not just against “identified” posts (as was being wrongly interpreted by the government) and had asked it to compute the number of such vacancies in all government departments to give jobs to disabled persons under the three percent reserved quota within three months. Unfortunately, this order is yet to be implemented. It also needs to be reiterated that Section 32 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 also mandates that governments “at periodical intervals not exceeding three years, review the list of posts identified and update the list taking into consideration the developments in technology”. That the last time this exercise was undertaken was in 2007, displays the utter callous and insensitive attitude of the government. Unemployment among the disabled is as high as 66 percent. Even the existing inadequate opportunities in the government sector are shrinking consequent to policies of outsourcing, contractualisation, casualisation etc. The NPRD demands that the government implement the Supreme Court directives with regard to computing the number of vacancies; launch special recruitment drives to fill up such vacancies; update the list of identified posts immediately; and also provide reservations in promotions to employees with disabilities.