Persons with Disabilities Act

Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, is a socio-labour welfare legislation. It enacted to safeguard rights and interests of disabled employees and cadidates, both in  public and private sector organisations. But this legislation, more often than not, is pressed into service by aspriring disabled candidates/employees to obtain unjust advantages over other general candiates/employees. Although there has been several decisons on the aspect, courts mostly have choosen to adjudicate on facts, rater than declare correct interpretation of law, considering political rightneousness and implication. One of the very few cases, which considered the scope and ambit of legislation, and impartially laid down the law with clarity is a recent judgment of the Kerala High Court, by Justice K.T. Sankaran. The KHC court held that ‘A person having a particular disability can aspire only for reservation/consideration to a post which is suitable for being filled by such candidates, as earmaked by the employer/appropriate government’ (Lali D.S v. M.G. University, 2010 (3) KHC 502). It was further held that ‘Reservation of appointment of persons with disability is not intended to affect the efficiency of functioning of the establishments, but to provide assistance to the persons with disability without affecting the efficiency of the establishment.’

Meanwhile, another judgment of Supreme Court on the same subject held that the Act cannot be pressed into service to grant any relief or advantage where the complaint or grievance relates to an alleged discrimination, which has nothing to do with disability of the Person. In that case,the supreme court also held that Chief Commissoners appointed under the Act, have no power to issue directions against natural retirement of a disabled employee (2010 II LLJ 609 – SBP V. Vinesh Kumar Bhasin).

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About Thomas Geeverghese

Advocate, Ernakulam
This entry was posted in Labour Law Kerala, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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