In a notification dated 6 April, the Bombay High Court has stayed the process for recruitment of around 9,000 stenographers, junior clerks and peons, in furtherance of an order noting that the High Court administration had failed to mention seats available for the differently-abled and visually challenged in the advertisements.
The official notification states: "The Hon'ble High Court of Bombay by an order dated 6th April, 2018 passed in Writ Petition (L.) No. 1137 of 2018, directed to stay and suspend the Central On-line Recruitment Process for filling up the vacant posts of Stenographer (L.G.), Junior Clerk and Peon/Hamal, in various District Courts throughout the State, forthwith. All concerned to take note of this direction and act accordingly."
The Court had, on 28 March, advertised 8,921 posts, which included 1013 posts of Stenographers, 4738 posts of Junior Clerks, and 3170 posts of Peon for recruitment in District Courts.
A Petition has now been filed by the National Federation of the Blind, asserting that the advertisement had failed to provide for reservations in accordance with Section 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The reservations prescribed by the Advertisement, it said, were based on The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Fill Participation) Act, 1995 instead of the 2016 Act.
During the hearing, the Court noted that the advertisement only provides for a 2% reservation for persons with disabilities. This includes 1% for those with a hearing impairment and 1% for those having one leg affected.
Opining that prima facie the authorities ought to have prescribed reservation under Section 34 of the 2016 Act, the Bench comprising Justice G.S. Kulkarni and Justice Naresh H. Patil then ordered, "Considering the nature of issues involved and to avoid any further complications and inconvenience to the applicants and for adopting a fair and transparent procedure by an ad-interim relief, we direct the respondent to stay and suspend the recruitment process forthwith."
The Counsel for the High Court Administration has now agreed to take further instructions and address the Court on 11 April.