Physically Handicapped Category is a Category in itself, a person who is physically handicapped be it Physically Handicapped of a General Category or OBC Category, the Bench said.
The Supreme Court on Tues day set aside Madras High Court and Delhi High Court Judgments which had held that physically handicapped candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC), are entitled to avail 10 attempts instead of 7 attempts in the Civil Services Examination.
Before the respective High Courts, the OBC candidates had contended that prior to 2007 Civil Services Examination, in 2007 that number of attempts for physically handicapped candidates of General Category were increased from 4 to 7, and since no proportionate increase in the number of attempts for Physically Handicapped Category candidates of OBC was made, the grant to the respondent is arbitrary and discriminatory being violative of Article 14. This contention found favour with Madras High Court which in another similar case was followed by Delhi High Court.
On Appeal, the Bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Ashok Bhushan observed: “Physically Handicapped Category is a Category in itself, a person who is physically handicapped be it Physically Handicapped of a General Category or OBC Category, suffering from similar disability has to be treated alike in extending the relaxation and concessions. Both being provided 7 attempts to appear in Civil Services Examination, no discrimination or arbitrariness can be found in the above scenario.”
The Court also said that the horizontal reservation and relaxation for Physically Handicapped Category candidates for Civil Services Examination, is a matter of Governmental policy and the Government after considering the relevant materials have extended relaxation and concessions to the Physically Handicapped candidates belonging to the Reserved Category as well as General Category. “It is not in the domain of the courts to embark upon an inquiry as to whether a particular public policy is wise and acceptable or whether better policy could be evolved. The Court can only interfere if the policy framed is absolutely capricious and non-informed by reasons, or totally arbitrary offending the basic requirement of the Article 14 of the Constitution”, the Bench said.
Read the Judgment here.
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