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Supreme Court Upholds Selection Of Candidate Suffering From Bipolar Affective Disorder To Delhi Judicial Services Under PwD Category

Srishti Ojha
13 Dec 2021 4:42 PM GMT
Supreme Court Upholds Selection Of Candidate Suffering From Bipolar Affective Disorder To Delhi Judicial Services Under PwD Category
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The Supreme Court of India has upheld the selection of a candidate suffering from Bipolar Affective Disorder to Delhi Judicial Service 2018 under the category of persons with disabilities, whose candidature was rejected on account of his mental disability not being found permanent in nature. A Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh has issued the direction after perusing...

The Supreme Court of India has upheld the selection of a candidate suffering from Bipolar Affective Disorder to Delhi Judicial Service 2018 under the category of persons with disabilities, whose candidature was rejected on account of his mental disability not being found permanent in nature.

A Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh has issued the direction after perusing the report of the AIIMS' Medical Board which stated that there is nothing to indicate that the candidate will not be able to discharge his responsibilities to the post of Judicial officer for which he has been selected.

The Bench has issued the direction in a special leave petition filed by Delhi High Court against Delhi High Court's order allowing the candidate's plea and setting aside the notice dated 21.5.2019 insofar as it declared his disability Bipolar Affective Disorder to be not permanent.

"... the petitioner before the High Court, is entitled to succeed, albeit for little different reasons as set out in the impugned order. The conclusive 'paragraph 66' of the impugned judgment thus comes into play and shall be adhered to," the Bench said

The Bench has observed that the following directions from the High Court's impugned order are to be adhered to:

  • The candidate to be declared as selected to the Delhi Judicial Services without any further delay, since undisputedly he is the only qualified candidate in the mental illness category.
  • Upon his appointment, the candidate would retain his notional seniority along with his other batchmates and he would be deemed to have joined his post along with his other batchmates, though he would not be entitled to any back wages.
  • Delhi High Court shall issue necessary orders regarding the petitioner's Induction training for Judicial Officers.

Supreme Court had on 17th November referred the present matter to a Medical Board to be constituted by the Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), asking the Board to opine whether the candidate would be capable of efficiently discharging his duties as judicial officer.

The referral was made in consideration of note 3 of the advertisement which requires that a reference is to be made to a Medical Board so that the expert Board would opine whether the candidate can be said to be capable of efficiently discharging duties of a judicial officer.

With regard to candidate's apprehension relating to absence of any laid down parameters for the Medical Board and innate social prejudices which arise while considering such cases for appointment, the Bench had observed that is sure that the Medical Board will keep its objectivity looking to the candidate, the task which he is required to perform on appointment and his medical condition.

In the present matter, an advertisement was issued by the High Court of Delhi for the Delhi Judicial Service Examination, 2018 inter alia making a reservation for persons with disability candidates (PwD).

The notes to the advertisement made it subject to amendment of existing rules, which is to be notified, and stipulated that the differently abled persons should be capable of efficiently discharging their duties as judicial officer as per the satisfaction of the Medical Board as may be constituted before or after their names are recommended for appointment.

A law graduate applied under the PwD category after having obtained a disability certificate for mental illness- Bipolar Affective Disorder which was issued in 2018 and is valid for a period of five years till 2023.

He cleared the preliminary examination, the main examination and the interview but his candidature was rejected on the ground that his disability was not found to be permanent as per the disability certificate submitted by him.

When the same was challenged before the High Court, the High Court set aside the notice declaring his disability to be not permanent.

The High Court also issued consequential directions declaring the respondent as selected to the Delhi Judicial Service being the only qualified candidate in the 'mental illness' category.

The High Court also directed that his notional seniority would be preserved along with the other batch mates being deemed to have joined this post, though he would not be entitled to any back wages and subject to his training as a judicial officer.

The High Court had also come to the conclusion that BPAD was a lifelong/ permanent and incurable mental illness but capable of being managed.

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