‘State govt view blinkered on jobs for disabled people’
AHMEDABAD: Justice JB Pardiwala lashed out at the state government's misinterpretation of the law granting 3% reservation in government jobs for people with disabilities. "The state is expected to have constitutional wisdom. It completely lost sight of its commitment both under its own policy decision as also the statutory provision," said Justice Pardiwala.
The court made this observation in the matter of Rajesh Desai, an MD in Physiology, who had been denied a job in colleges run by the Gujarat Medical Education & Research Society. Desai has 55% permanent disability in his right leg.
The high court pulled up the state government for ignoring and misinterpreting the rule about 3% reservation in jobs for the disabled. The court directed the government to appoint Desai within four weeks.
The judge observed that Indian disability law treats disability as a civil rights issue rather than a health and welfare matter. If properly implemented, existing laws and the constitutional equality provisions should ensure a fuller life with dignity to disabled persons. The government cannot cite financial constraints as the reason for not implementing these laws.
Justice Pardiwala appreciated the Centre for introducing a Bill in the Rajya Sabha for increasing the quota for the disabled from 3% to 5%. "While every nation on planet earth continues to struggle with disability-related issues, India very clearly has quite a way to go before it reaches a sense of equality," the order reads.
The court said that more than 600 million persons with various disabilities in the world are being prevented from contributing to society. A staggering 90 million people in India are disabled - almost one in every 10. While the total number of people with disabilities increased by just over 22% over a decade — from almost 22 million in Census 2001 to 26.8 million in 2011, those living on their own have nearly doubled in the same period, the court observed.