A I COFEDERATION OF THE BLIND Vs. UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
A.I.CONFEDERATION OF THE BLIND
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.)A. No. 4 in W.P. No. 15/1998 : The prayer made in I.A. No. 4 is in relation to the reservation of the identified teaching posts in the Faculties and Colleges of various Universities in terms of Sec. 33 of the Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 for the visually handicapped persons.
(2.)The counter affidavit filed on behalf of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities as set out in the following terms :
"... 3. It is humbly submitted that in pursuance of Sec. 32 of the Persons with Disabilities Act (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, the appropriate Government (Government of India) has updated the list of identified posts. This list has been issued vide Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 178 dated 30.6.2001. In this list, the posts of University/College/School Teacher for the blind and low-vision have been listed at Sl. Nos. 24-27 on page No. 592.
6. The Chief Commissioner for Person with Disabilities has taken cognizance of the arrangements provided by the University Grants Commission for persons with disabilities by way of extending 5% relaxation in cut-off marks, appearing in the NET for Junior Research Fellowship and Lectureship. Thus, the arrangement extended by UGC is in consonance with the policy stand taken by Government of India insofar as relaxation in minimum standard is concerned. Relaxation in standards has been favored only when the candidates belonging to reserved categories are not available on the basis of the general standard to fill all the vacancies reserved for them.
7. The relaxation extended to SC and ST candidates as per Maintenance of Standard 1998 of the Universities, provides for a 5% relaxation from 55% to 50% in the marks obtained at Master's Degree. Since reservation for the disabled is called horizontal reservation which cuts across all vertical categories such as SC, ST, OBC & General. Therefore, all such blind/low- vision persons who belonged to SC, ST vertical category would automatically enjoy the benefit of 5% relaxation at the minimum qualifying marks obtained at Master's Degree level. Thus, only the blind and low-vision belonging to OBC and General categories are deprived of the relaxation of 5% marks at Masters' level.
8. The blind/low-vision and other visually disabled persons belonging to SC and ST category are in any case enjoying the benefit of 5% relaxation in marks obtained at the master's level for appearing in the NET examination conducted by the UGC. By extending the same relaxation to particularly blind/low-vision and in general all disabled at par with SC and ST disabled would bring parity amongst all persons with disabilities irrespective of their vertical categories."
(3.)In view of the stand taken by the Government, nothing survives for consideration insofar as U.G.C. is concerned. The matter shall stand disposed of so far as University Grants Commission is concerned. I.A. 4 is disposed of accordingly.
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