Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: In a petition filed by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) (petitioner) alleging inaction on the part of the State (respondent) in filling up the vacancies which are reserved for Blind and Low Vision candidates. It is further challenging the inaction on the part of the State in not providing reservations to Disabled Persons (Blind and Low Vision) keeping in view Section 33 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 read with Right of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2017. A division bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, CJ., and Subramonium Prasad, J., directed the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) to undertake a special recruitment drive for filling up the backlog of vacancies for the Persons with Disabilities in a time bound manner.

The Petitioner organization has stated that the Ministry of Social Welfare, Government of India has issued an Office Memorandum dated 04-11-1977 providing reservation to Persons with Disabilities in Group-C and Group-D posts to the extent of 1 per-cent each for the (i) Blind; (ii) Hearing and Speech Impairment; and (iii) Persons suffering from a locomotor disability. It has been further stated that the Department of Personnel & Training (DoP&T) vide office memorandum has directed all the departments to consider both identified and unidentified posts for the purposes of reservation in respect of Disabled Persons.

The main grievance of the petitioner is that despite the scheme of reservation, the benefit of reservation was not being extended despite orders being issued by the Government of India, by various Government establishments as well as public sector undertakings (PSUs). Hence, the present petition was filed.

The Court noted that the order passed by State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) makes it very clear that 1351 vacancies are available under Direct Recruitment quota for Persons with Disabilities, including 356 vacancies for Visually Impaired persons; and in the matter of Promotion quota, the vacancies available are 852, including 149 vacancies for Visually Impaired persons.

Thus, the Court concluded that the vacancies, which are in existence, are required to be filled up as soon as possible and directed GNCTD to carry out a special recruitment drive for Persons with Disabilities by different Departments/ Establishments of GNCTD and the vacancies be filled up by adhering to the time schedule detailed as under:

(a) The concerned Departments/ Establishments will send a requisition to the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB)/ Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) within 30 days from the date of order;

(b) The notification of advertisement by DSSSB/ UPSC for filling up back-log of vacancies for persons with benchmark disabilities against requisition sent to them be issued within 30 days from the date of receiving requisition;

(c) The DSSSB/ UPSC, as the case may, shall conduct written test/ interview/ process of selection within 30 days from the last date of receipt of applications by the DSSSB/ UPSC; and

(d) The DSSSB/ UPSC, as the case may, shall declare the result and the process of appointment be concluded within a period of 30 days from the date of declaration of result/ interview.

Further, the Court in relation to the vacancies reported by different Departments/ Establishments against the reservation for promotion as observed by the learned SCPD is concerned laid down the following schedule:

(a) Notification of eligible candidates for consideration against vacancies reported for being filled up by promotion and obtaining of Annual Performance Assessment Report (APAR) or other relevant information in respect of eligible candidates be issued within a period of 45 days from the date of order;

(b) Convening of Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC)/ Interview by the concerned authority be concluded within 45 days from the date of finalization of the list of eligible candidates; and

(c) The order of appointment be issued within 30 days from the date of convening of DPC/ Interview.

[National Federation of the Blind v. Govt of NCT of Delhi, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1403, decided on 06-03-2023]

Judgment by: Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. S.K. Rungta, Senior Advocate with Mr. Shivakur Shukla, Mr.Prashant Singh & Mr. Sumit, Advocates for petitioner

Ms. Avnish Ahlawat, Standing Counsel with Ms. Tania Ahlawat, Mr.Nitesh Kumar Singh, Ms. Palak Rohmetra, Ms. Laavanya Kaushik & Ms. Aliza Alam, Advocates for respondents

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