NIKHIL PRABHAKAR SHEDGE Vs. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Nikhil Prabhakar Shedge
Union of India And Ors.
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MANJULA CHELLUR, J. -
(1.) The petitioner - a Mechanical Engineer by qualification, is before us. The first respondent - Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Disability Affairs, is in charge of, or instrumental in devising the guidelines for conducting the written examination for persons with disabilities. The second respondent is Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) which holds civil services examination. Apparently, such civil service examinations were declared by advertisement dated 27th April 2016 annexed at Exhibit-B. The third respondent is the Department of Personnel and Training which is responsible in devising the rules with regard to fixing the reservation of physically handicapped persons.
(2.) As per the advertisement, the proposal was to fill up vacancies of 1079 (3% of the same to be earmarked for PWDs). According to the petitioner, it would come to 34 vacancies in terms of Section 33 of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 (for short "PWDs Act") so far as blind/low vision candidates, 7 posts were earmarked. Similarly, for Locomotor Disability and Cerebral Palsy (LDCP), 14 posts were earmarked and 13 posts for candidates with hearing impairment. It is also indicated in the advertisement that number of vacancies may undergo change after ascertaining the clear vacancies from different departments i.e. through Cadre Controlling Authorities.
(3.) Apparently, the petitioner applied online for appearing in the examination under Visually impaired quota with disability of 40% and above. On 23rd May 2015, an advertisement was published in view of the proposed guidelines of the first respondent for conducting written examination for persons with disabilities wherein out of the total posts of 1129, 29 vacancies were reserved for physically handicapped category, 13 vacancies for LDCP and 5 vacancies for blind/low vision, apart from 11 vacancies for hearing impairment. In this advertisement, reference is made to office memorandum dated 26th February 2013 issued by the first respondent, indicating guidelines proposed to offer to the candidates who are visually handicapped i.e. such candidates could take assistance of a scribe/reader. This office memorandum of 2013 indicates that persons of physical disabilities are given an advantage of choosing their own scribe/reader/lab assistant. Choice of such assistant can be selected by the applicant from the Government recognised panels or the applicant can also choose a person of his choice for the above purpose. According to the petitioner, any supplementary certificate of a candidate may vitiate their complete rescheduling procedure. This supplementary certificate, unless reverified by subjecting such candidates to the Apex Medical Institutes by constituting a Special Board, there may be possibility of candidates undeserving getting into the streamline under the special reserved category, debarring the genuine candidates. Therefore, he contends that reverification of supplementary certificates must be implemented. So far as the petitioner is concerned, he has undergone the test for assessment disability for his visual disability in District Hospital, Satara. The petitioner is certified with the 75% visual disability certified by Medical Board constituted for the purpose comprising of the Civil Surgeon, and Medical Officer of the Government recognised hospital as per Exhibit-F. According to the petitioner, around 14 posts are reserved for LDCP, 7 posts are reserved for blind/low vision and 13 posts are reserved for hearing impairment as per the latest chart indicating tentative vacancies for civil service examination in the year 2016.;
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