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State Must Reconsider Decision Asking Blind Employees To Report To Duty: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
26 Nov 2020 3:14 PM GMT
State Must Reconsider Decision Asking Blind Employees To Report To Duty: Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court has directed the State government to in two weeks time reconsider its decision making it compulsory for government employees, in particular blind employees, to report to duty. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said: "For the time being we are dealing with the issue of blind persons. The state government will have...

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The Karnataka High Court has directed the State government to in two weeks time reconsider its decision making it compulsory for government employees, in particular blind employees, to report to duty.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said:

"For the time being we are dealing with the issue of blind persons. The state government will have to reconsider its decision, subject matter of challenge in the light of Rights of Employees with Disabilities and in particular blind employees."

By a circular dated May 18, the state government has directed all Government Employees belonging to Group A, B, C and D to come for duty at 100% capacity.

The bench while hearing a petition filed by Karnataka Federation of the Blind noted:

"We direct the state to reconsider its decision, dated May 18, in the light of Rights Guaranteed to the differently abled persons and in particular blind persons. The issue will also have to be addressed in the context of the fact that some of the differently abled persons will need assistance, which will need touching the other persons. Thus we direct the state government to reconsider its decision, considering Rights of differently abled persons as well as genuine difficulties faced by them."

Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari, appearing for the petitioner, had submitted that actions of the respondent State government in issuing the impugned directions requiring 100% duty attendance by state government employees including employees with disabilities is in complete violation of the directions issued by the central government in Office Memorandum dated 28.04.2020 and 14.09.2020, exempting government employees with disabilities from roster duty during COVID-19 pandemic and hence deserves to be quashed and set aside.

Further, it was said "By requiring 100% attendance in duty from all government employees with disabilities, especially employees with blindness and other disabilities who require physical assistance in travel and at work from other persons, the Respondents are putting the government employees with disabilities and other staff members at a high risk of infection with COVID-19."

The petition prays for order or direction, setting aside the Circular dated 18.05.2020, issued by the Respondent No. as it is in violation of the Central Government Office Memorandum dated 14.9.2020 exempting employees with disabilities from roster duty during the COVID 19 pandemic, and direct the Respondents to exempt government employees with disabilities from roster duty and treat the same as special paid leave.

Or direct the respondents to provide private transportation facilities for employees with disabilities, especially for persons with blindness, where exemption from roster duty is not possible, or to reimburse them with costs of private transport arranged by them.

The court has directed the state government to place on record the decision taken by December 11 and posted the matter for further hearing on December 14.

Click Here To Download Petition

[Read Petition]



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