Decided on October 20,2003

Shaji Kumar Beena Nivas Appellant


- (1.) This Writ Appeal is filed against the judgment dated 1.8.2003 in O.P. No.12948 of 2002 which was dismissed by the learned Single Judge. The appellant is the petitioner in the Original Petition. The respondents herein are the respondents in the Original Petition.
(2.) By Ext. P1 notification dated 22.7.2000 the first respondent Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited invited applications for Petrol-Diesel Retail Outlet Dealerships at Kottiyam in Kollam District and Kadambanadu in Pathanamthitta District. The outlet at Kottiyam was reserved for physically handicapped persons. Being a congenitally physically handicapped person with a permanent disability of more than 45%, the petitioner submitted an application for the Petrol-Diesel Retail Outlet Dealership at Kottiyam. He was called for the interview conducted by the third respondent Dealer Selection Board. According to the petitioner, after the selection, a rank list was published including the 4th respondent Mohammed Shanni as No.1 and the petitioner as No.2. The 4th respondent had no congenital disability. He became physically handicapped due to a motor accident in 1994. Hence, the petitioner submitted Ext. P2 representation dated 13.12.2001 before respondents 2 and 3 pointing out that congenitally handicapped persons ought to be given preference over accidentally handicapped. The third respondent sent Ext. P3 letter to the petitioner advising him to appear before the third respondent on 8.1.2002 with all evidences in support of his allegation against the selection of candidates. The petitioner appeared before the third respondent and submitted a copy of the judgment of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kollam in O.P.(M.V.) No.1963 of 1994 to prove that the 4th respondent had become handicapped in a motor accident which took place on 27.6.1994, that because of the accident the right leg of the 4th respondent had to be amputated and that he was awarded as compensation an amount of Rs.5,03,000/- with interest at the rate of 9% from the date of petition till the date of recovery. The 4th respondent submitted Ext. P5 objection to the representation of the petitioner. In Ext. P5 the 4th respondent disputed the claim of the petitioner that a congenitally handicapped person is entitled to preference over persons who became physically handicapped due to other causes. Alleging that the third respondent was delaying the decision on the petitioner's representation he filed the Original Petition praying for a direction to the respondents to allot the Petrol-Diesel Retail Outlet to the petitioner and also for a direction to the third respondent to dispose of Ext. P2 representation.
(3.) In the counter affidavit filed on behalf of respondents 1 and 2 it was contended that the Petrol-Diesel Retail Outlet at Kottiyam was reserved for physically handicapped persons. However it was pointed out in the counter affidavit that Ext. P1 notification did not mention that the handicap should be congenital as the respondent Corporation had not intended that the handicap should be congenital. According to respondents 1 and 2 the application for dealership under the said category can be preferred by a person who is handicapped to the extent mentioned in the notification subject to other conditions mentioned in the notification. It was also stated that the interview and selection were conducted by the third respondent Dealer Selection Board and respondents 1 and 2 had no role in the process of selection. The third respondent found that the 4th respondent satisfied the requirements laid down in Ext. P1 notification and hence the 4th respondent was included in the rank list. It was also stated that with effect from 9.5.2002 the Dealer Selection Board stood terminated and therefore no further action could be taken on the petitioner's complaint. According to respondents 1 and 2, they only followed the recommendation of the third respondent.;

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