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Plea Challenging UPSC Prelims Notification For Neglecting Statutory Reservation For PwD Category, Delhi HC Issues Notice

Karan Tripathi
10 Aug 2020 8:28 AM GMT
Plea Challenging UPSC Prelims Notification For Neglecting Statutory Reservation For PwD Category, Delhi HC Issues Notice
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Delhi High Court had issued notice in a plea challenging the Preliminary Examination notification of the Union Public Service Commission for allegedly neglecting the mandatory reservation requirement for disabled persons under Section 34 of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notice to the UPSC as well as all the 24 civil services of the Government of India.

Moved by Sambhavana Society, the petition claims that the impugned examination notice doesn't provide the exact number of vacancies and instead have given a figure of 796 under the head of 'expected vacancies'.

As per the Petitioner, it is impossible to ascertain 4% statutory reservation for PwD category when exact number of vacancies are not released. The term 'expected vacancies', the Petitioner argues, is neither contemplated in the RPwD Act or the judgment of the Supreme Court in Union of India v. National Federation of Blind

'To reserve something of that which does not legally exist is to legally give nothing. The question is why did the Union Ministry of Personnel and its department the DoP&T give to the UPSC "expected approximate vacancies", why did the UPSC accept the figures of such expected approximate vacancies and why did the Union Ministry of Social Justice not exercise oversight on the policy of the RPwD Act being defeated in this manner', the petition states.

Even if the concept of expected vacancies is accepted, the Petitioner argues, the exam notice erroneously reserves only 24 seats for PwD category applicants despite the fact that 4% of 796 comes out to be 32 seats.

'There's a gross mathematical miscalculation', the Petitioner argued.

The petition states:

'The third part of the reservation scheme is that the four percent vacancies reserved for the disabled have to be distributed equally at 1 percent each among the categories of the disabled specified in the Act.The impugned UPSC Notice does not do this also since it distributes these as 3,9,8 and 4 for the blind, deaf, locomotor and multiple disabilities. The impugned Notice after the first mathematical wonder by which 4% of 796 is 24 does this next wonder of 1% equal distribution of a given figure over four categories resulting in different numbers for each category.'

It is further argued by the Petitioner that neither the requisition sent by the Ministries nor does the exam notice talk about the carrying forward of backlog vacancies for PwD category and appointment of nodal officers.

'The disabled candidates do not have the physical or the economic wherewithal to withstand this annihilation of their statutory and constitutional rights to an equal opportunity to a government job, despite two Union Ministries and a constitutional authority tasked to take care that this does not happen', the Petitioner submitted.

The court will next take up the matter on August 31.

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