The government does not give disabled people “generosity” by assisting a clerk during a civil service audit, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
The Union’s Civil Service Commission and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) do not grant a clerk a “privilege,” a bank headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said in a 62-page judgment.
The court said it was high time the government broke its “fundamental mistake” that only people with a “benchmark disability” or a specific disability of 40% or more should be placed with a clerk while doing competitive tests like this Take the public service exam. This is a clear violation of the intention to provide “reasonable accommodation” for disabled people under the 2016 Law on the Right to People with Disabilities (RPwD).
“The provision for the establishment of a clerk is in line with the legal mandate to ensure that people with disabilities can lead lives of equality and dignity based on society’s respect for their physical and mental integrity. There is a fundamental error of the UPSE / DoPT that the facility of a recorder should only be made available to persons with benchmark disabilities. This is because the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment has not clarified its guidelines, ”wrote Justice Chandrachud.
The verdict was based on an appeal by attorneys Rajan Mani and Ritu Kumar on behalf of Vikash Kumar, a candidate with Writer’s Cramp, a chronic neurological disease that causes extreme difficulty in writing. He was denied a public service exam clerk by the UPSC in 2018 for not falling under the definition of a person with a benchmark disability.
The protracted legal battle that Mr. Kumar has waged is a constant reminder of the gap between law and reality, according to Justice Chandrachud.
“The reasonable accommodation principle reflects the positive obligation of the state and private parties to provide additional support to people with disabilities to facilitate their full and effective participation in society,” the court found.
The 2016 law provides a broader definition of “people with disabilities” demonstrating a transition from a stigmatizing medical model of disability to a social model of disability that recognizes that it is social and physical pressures that exclude people with disabilities make up disabilities through unrestricted and effective participation in society.
The law gives a powerful voice to disabled people who have previously felt muffled and silenced by the way their impairment interacts with society.
Cases like that of Mr. Kumar, it ruled, offer the court “an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the project of creating the RPwD generation in India”.
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