Authorities exempts sure institutions from giving job quota to disabled; rights teams object- The New Indian Categorical
NEW DELHI: The government has excluded certain institutions from the scope of the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Section 2016, which, according to the Official Gazette, provides for the reservation of employment for persons with benchmark disabilities.
In the first of these communications on Wednesday, the government exempted all categories of posts from the Indian Police Service; all categories of posts under the Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Police Services, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli; and all categories of positions under the Indian Railway Protection Force Service.
In the second notification, the section exemption must be granted for all sectors and categories of post of combatant personnel.
“In exercising the powers arising from the reservation of Section 20 (1) and the second reservation of Section 34 (1) of the Law on the Rights of People with Disabilities 2016 after consulting the Chief Commissioner for People with Disabilities, taking into account the Type and type of work, hereby exempts all categories of service posts of the combatant personnel of the central armed police forces, ie border security forces, central reserve police forces, central industrial security forces, the Indo-Tibetan border police, Sashastra Seema Bal and Assam Rifles from the provisions of the sections mentioned ” it in the second notification.
Pursuant to Section 34 of the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) 2016, each competent government in each government institution must appoint at least four percent of the total number of vacancies in the cadre strength in each job group intended to be filled with people with benchmark disabilities, of which one percent is reserved for people with benchmark disabilities.
Section 20 of the Act provides for non-discrimination in employment, reasonable accommodation and an appropriately accessible and empowering environment for workers with disabilities.
Meanwhile, activists have spoken out against the government’s decision.
Arman Ali, executive director of the National Center for the Promotion of Employment of People with Disabilities (NCPEDP), said the exception to section 34 of the law was “serious injustice” against people with disabilities.
“The positions under the police are not limited to field service units, but include, among other things, subdivisions such as forensics, cyber, IT cell, which can accommodate people with disabilities in the workplaces identified for them.
“The reservation provided in Section 34 only applies to jobs identified under Section 33 and therefore the notification issued is irrational as people with disabilities are already considered eligible to be appointed to these identified positions”, he said.
Ali added that even people with disabilities such as victims of acid attacks and cured leprosy are able to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the police.
“As such, the blanket exception for all categories of police and IPS is unfair and arbitrary,” he regretted.
The activist also said the exemption from Section 20 will have a negative impact on people with disabilities who are already employed by the said combatant services.
For example, if personnel employed in one of the aforementioned combatant services acquire a disability during their service time, they may not exercise their rights to reasonable accommodation, non-discrimination and promotion if the combatant services are exempt from the provisions of Section 20 of the RPwD Act of 2016, he said.
The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) said the government had “abused” the Section 34 reservation that grants such an exception.
This reservation should not give a blanket release from the employment of disabled people, but should ensure that they are not assigned any combatant roles or such tasks and are only hired against designated positions, it said.
NPRD Secretary General Muralidharan said the development was contrary to the spirit and intent of the reservation.
“This is even more shocking given that in October 2019 the Delhi police campaigned for the police chief (ministry) to make reservations for people with disabilities,” he said.
“Surprisingly, in another notice issued on the same day (August 18), concerning the central armed police, the exemption is limited to only” all categories of combatant personnel, “he said.
The NPRD called the first report “unacceptable” and called for its withdrawal.
“Exceptions should only be granted in cases of” combatant roles “that correspond to the sense and purpose of the reservation under Section 34 of the RPD Act. It is unfortunate that a department designed to protect and empower disabled people is doing just the opposite, “added Muralidharan.