6 July 2023 7:45 AM GMT
The Telangana High Court has ruled that para sportspersons can also avail benefit of the 2 percent reservation for sportspersons in direct recruitments to all the government departments. The division bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Buyan and Justice N. Tukaramji said the list of recognized sports disciplines mentioned in the government order passed in 2012 are capable of including para...
The Telangana High Court has ruled that para sportspersons can also avail benefit of the 2 percent reservation for sportspersons in direct recruitments to all the government departments.
The division bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Buyan and Justice N. Tukaramji said the list of recognized sports disciplines mentioned in the government order passed in 2012 are capable of including para sportspersons participating in any of those sports disciplines.
"Therefore Annexure-I to G.O.Ms.No.74 dated 09.08.2012 is capable of being read in a manner to include para sportspersons so as to bring them within the umbrella of eligible sportspersons for availing the benefit of 2% reservation to sportspersons in direct recruitment to Government services etc," said the court, adding it will be "inclusive rather purposive interpretation" which will enhance the cause for which the policy decision was conceived of.
The court said guidelines issued for such appointments makes it clear that this list of sports is amenable to revision from time to time by the government.
"Though Annexure-I contains the list of sports disciplines, it does not say or per se exclude parasportspersons or athletes playing the above sports disciplines from the benefit of 2% reservation under the sports quota. It is quite clear that the above sports disciplines can be played not only by any individual as a sportsperson but also by para athletes," said the court.
The bench passed the ruling on a petition filed by Para-sports persons, challenging the Youth Advancement, Tourism & Culture (Sports) Department's decision to exclude them from the two percent (2%) reservation provided to sportspersons in direct recruitment to all Government Departments as an incentive to sportspersons.
The petition was filed in the backdrop of trigger their exclusion from the 2% reservation made for sportspersons from the Post of Junior Panchayat Secretary. Advocate Baglekar Akash Kumar, representing the petitioners, contended that the same was discriminatory, against Article 21, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and a blatant attack directed at all Para-Sportsmen.
Special Government Pleader, A. Sanjeev Kumar argued that government of Telangana is already implementing a 3% reservation for disabled persons and to add Para-sports person in the list of sport disciplines under the 2012 policy would be a policy decision that has to be taken by the State.
Ruling in favour of the petitioners, the court said the interpretation for inclusion of para-sports persons would also be in consonance with the objective of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. One of the principal objectives of the said Act is to provide for full and effective participation and inclusion in society of persons with disabilities, noted the court.
"We therefore direct and clarify that Annexure-I to G.O.Ms.No.74 dated 09.08.2012 would include para sports as an additional sports discipline or para sports generally in respect of the enumerated 29 sports disciplines. We further declare and clarify that Annexure-II to G.O.Ms.No.74 dated 09.08.2012 would be read as including any para sporting event of equivalent status and importance as mentioned in the sporting events in Annexure-II," said the court.
The court further ordered that while making direct recruitments to Government establishments, benefit of the policy would stand extended to sportspersons belonging to the para sports category and participating in para sporting events of equivalent importance as mentioned in Annexure-II of the government order.
"This interpretation of G.O.Ms.No.74 dated 09.08.2012 would be applicable to all Government departments and to all recruitments to Government establishments, including to Notification No.2560/CPR&RE/B2/2017 dated 16.09.2021, if no recruitment under the sports quota has taken place in terms of the said notification till date," said the court.
Case Title: Ragula Naresh Yadav & ors v. State of Telangana and Ors.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Tel) 21
Click Here To Read/Download Order