Delhi HC Refuses To Lift Stay On AIIMS Nursing Officer Recruitment Process With No Place For Acid Attack Victims

Delhi HC Refuses To Lift Stay On AIIMS Nursing Officer Recruitment Process With No Place For Acid Attack Victims

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to lift the stay imposed by it on the process of recruitment of 2,000 nursing officers at four centres of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a victim of acid attack challenged it for being discriminatory to her and others like her and depriving them of equal opportunity in public employment.

The court dismissed the petition moved by AIIMS against the stay imposed by it in October last year wherein the premier medical institution was asked not to give effect to its September 27, 2018 advertisement calling for applications for the posts of 2,000 nursing officers at its centres in Bhopal, Jodhpur, Patna and Raipur.

The stay had been granted on a petition moved by Yasmeen Masuree, a professionally qualified nurse who survived the acid attack 14 years ago when she stood up against the misbehaviour of some miscreants in her village in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh. The attack left her with 57 percent disability despite which she completed Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery from Jamia Hamdard University in 2014 and has been working as a nurse at various Delhi government hospitals.

Yasmeen had moved court through advocate MR Shamshad challenging the advertisement since it declared only one leg disability candidates eligible for recruitment under the PWBD (persons with benchmark disability) quota completely overlooking the suitability of acid attack victims for the post.

Advocate Shamshad informed that while AIIMS sought vacation of stay on the ground that the recruitment process at four centres cannot be held back because of one petitioner, the court was not impressed.

He also informed that the court also took note of an advertisement issued by the Banaras Hindu University yesterday inviting applications for non-teaching staff, including nursing officers, wherein as many as 31 seats have been reserved for one-arm impaired and victims of acid attack.

Previously, Shamshad had argued that acid attack victims have the right to be considered for seats reserved for PWBD as per the mandate of Sections 33 and 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and the advertisement issued by AIIMS is violative of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 16, 19(1) (g) and 21 of the Constitution of India.

He had also argued that being an autonomous institution, AIIMS did not need to wait for Centre's notification to provide reservation to victims of acid attack when the 2016 Act categorically states that acid attack victims are eligible for 4 per cent reservation under the benchmark disability quota.

The court on Friday also noted that AIIMS had failed to comply with a single judge order dated September 26, 2018, wherein it had been asked to decide whether acid attack victims would be eligible to be considered for appointment against the post of Nursing Officers at AIIMS and issue a notification in this regard by October 31.

The single judge order had come on a separate petition filed by Yasmeen wherein she had challenged the June 13, 2018 advertisement issued by AIIMS inviting online applications for various Group-D posts, including that of nursing officer, but the only category of disability, for which the post of Nursing Officer was identified suitable, in the advertisement, was OL- One Leg Only.

Rather than complying with the single judge order, AIIMS went on to issue another advertisement on September 27 which came to be challenged by way of the instant petition.

The court noted that AIIMS should have complied with the previous order passed by the single judge and then issued another advertisement.