Last week, the Supreme Court restated that persons with disabilities (PwD) cannot be denied reservation in promotions in govt jobs. A disabled person can avail the benefit of reservation for promotion even if he or she was recruited in the regular category and developed the disability after getting the employment, the Supreme Court said. The important thing is the employee should be a ‘person with disability’ (PwD) at the time of the promotion to avail of the disabled quota.
“Source of recruitment ought not to make any difference but what is material is that the employee is a PwD at the time for consideration for promotion,” a Bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy held in a judgment.
“The 1995 Act [Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995] does not make a distinction between a person who may have entered service on account of disability and a person who may have acquired a disability after having entered the service. Similarly, the same position would be with the person who may have entered service on a claim of a compassionate appointment. The mode of entry in service cannot be a ground to make out a case of discriminatory promotion,” Justice Kaul wrote.
The top court noted that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016 has now taken care of how to deal with the aspect of reservation in promotion. It dealt with the question of whether reservation under provisions of the 1995 Act is subjected to identification of posts as stipulated by the law.
The verdict was based on an appeal filed by the Kerala govt against a State High Court decision that Leesamma Joseph was eligible for reservation in promotion under the PwD quota. Joseph’s disability was assessed at 55% and was employed in the police department on compassionate grounds after her brother’s death.