Delhi HC asks woman to apply in general category subject to the outcome of petition.
A woman, who along with her family was attacked with acid 14 years ago by boys who she had confronted for misbehavior, has now moved the Delhi High Court seeking reservation for victims of acid attack in the posts of nursing officers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Yasmeen Mansuree is an acid attack victim with 57 percent disability and has worked as a nurse at various Delhi government hospitals.
As per the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 'acid attack' is a disability and victims as such are entitled for reservations in government appointments by virtue of Sections 33 & 34 of the Act.
She was forced to move high court pursuant to an advertisement issued by AIIMS on June 13 calling for application for the post of "Nursing Officer Grade B” with 32 seats reserved for persons with disability.
Yasmeen’s counsel Govind Jee said the advertisement mentioned the kind of disability eligible for applying on the post of Nursing Officer as "OL- One Leg disability" only, therefore violating the provisions of the Disability Act, 2016 which recognises acid attack as a disability.
“Due to this apathy, the petitioner said she has not been able to apply for the said post, the last date of submission of online form for which is July 12,” he said.
While issuing a notice to the Centre and AIIMS, Justice PS Teji permitted the petitioner to apply under general category and observed that in case she succeeds in her petition, her candidature should be considered under the Physically Handicapped category.
Yasmeen and her family were attacked with acid in their hometown in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh some days after her younger sister and she objected to misbehavior by some local boys on their way to a circus.
Despite the mental and physical agony, Yasmeen completed her Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery from Jamia Hamdard University in 2014.
She then registered herself with Delhi Nursing Council and worked in various hospitals in Delhi for over three years.
Govind Jee said though the advertisement mentions that the new ‘PH category will be considered as per guidelines received from the Ministry of Social Justice and Family Welfare under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016’ but while applying for the said post through online mode, the option which is reflected for persons with benchmark disability is one leg category of disability only and other disabilities have either been left out or not included in the category of disabilities by the respondents.
The petition said acid attack is a specified disability under the Act and a certificate issued to the petitioner by RML hospital confirms her extent of multiple disabilities to 57 percent.
The petitioner has prayed for declaration that the advertisement is violative of Article 14, 19(1) (g) and 21 of the Constitution while also seeking direction to the Centre to ensure that persons with benchmarks disability are not discriminated in public appointments and reservation of such posts be made strictly in terms of the provisions of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.