MP HC Allows Visually-Challenged Woman To Pursue Her Dream To Become Judicial Officer [Read Order]

MP HC Allows Visually-Challenged Woman To Pursue Her Dream To Become Judicial Officer [Read Order]

The problem is in the mindset that a visually challenged candidate will not be able to read, write and thus, would not be able to discharge the duties as a Judicial Officer, the bench said.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday asked the high court authorities to give reservation to a visually-challenged candidate and directed it to conduct a special written examination by providing the facility of a scribe and also extra time.

Rashmi Thakur, a visually-challenged woman with a disability of 75 percent, who is also a lawyer, applied for the posts of Civil Judge Class-II.  As there was no reservation provided for visually challenged candidates, she submitted a representation, which was rejected by the high court. In the preliminary examination, which was conducted later, she was not provided the facility of a scribe and thus she could not compete with the general category candidates. She approached the high court against rejection of representation seeking reservation.

A bench of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla observed that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 has made a departure from the provisions of the earlier Act as the reservation for the physically disabled candidates is not dependent on any condition. “The reservation can be denied only if any Government establishment is exempted from the provisions of the Act by the Chief Commissioner or the State Commissioner. In absence of any decision to exempt the High Court from the provisions of the reservation, the High Court was bound to reserve post for the visually handicapped candidates,” the bench said.

The court also observed that since the post of judicial magistrate has been identified as the one which can be filled by the blind and the low vision candidates, the decision of the high court not to permit a facility of scribe and to reserve the posts for visually handicapped candidates violates the provisions of the Act.

Problem is with Mindset

The Chief Justice remarked: “The problem is in the mindset that a visually challenged candidate will not be able to read, write and thus, would not be able to discharge the duties as a Judicial Officer. Such visually challenged person may not be able to feel the things around him by his eyes but other senses make up for the deficiency. In fact, the disabled are not only victims of discrimination but also victims of apathy. The persons with disability do not require any sympathy but are required to be treated equal and are entitled to equal treatment warranted by Constitution.”

Directing to conduct special examination exclusively for her within a month, the bench said if she is able to qualify the written examination in terms of the relaxation provided to the candidates belonging to other physically disabled candidates, the petitioner shall be called for interview and considered for appointment in accordance with law.

Live Law had recently reported about Brahmananda Sharma, who is now a Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate of Sarwar town of Ajmer district, who had lost his eyesight due to glaucoma at the age of 22.

Read the Order Here