The Supreme Court Upholds Reservations in Promotions for Disabled Persons
By Team Legistify / 2016-07-27
Considering the interests of more than four crore people with disabilities in the country, the Bench asserted that the disabled persons have not got their due in the last 19 years after the framing of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, which was passed in 1995.

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A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court considered the question of reservations in promotions for disabled persons.The Prasar Bharati Corporation (a State employer) has four classes of posts – A, B, C, and D. These posts are filled up in three ways – through direct recruitment, promotion, and partly direct recruitment and partly promotion.

Now, under Section 33 of the 1995 Persons with disablities Act, the Government is required to provide at least three percent reservation in “Identified Posts” for persons with disabilities. In pursuance of this, Prasar Bharati issued two office Memoranda. Certain posts in each of the four classes were selected to be the “Identified Posts”

However, while for Classes C and D, the reserved category posts could be filled up through any of the three means (promotion, recruitment, and partial promotion/recruitment), under Classes A and B, reserved posts could be filled only through recruitment. In other words, the Memoranda denied reservations in promotions to disabled employees working in Class A and Class B posts.

The legality of this denial was challenged. It was argued that since a number of posts in Class A and B were filled through promotions, effectively, disabled persons were being denied equality of opportunity.

The State’s response was this in Indra Sawhney v Union of India , the Supreme Court had held that reservations in the promotion were impermissible under Article16(4). Subsequently, To get around this, Parliament then amended Article 16(4) by inserting 16(4A), which specifically authorised reservations in promotions for certain Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. 16(4A), therefore, excepted only SC/STs from Indira Sawhney’s rule against reservations in promotions. That rule would continue to apply to all other classes of employees, including persons with disabilities.

Considering the interests of more than four crore people with disabilities in the country, the Bench asserted that the disabled persons have not got their due in the last 19 years after the framing of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, which was passed in 1995.

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