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Supreme Court sets deadline for roll out of quotas for disabled in promotions (Law & Justice)

Rejects Centre’s plea for clarification in 2020 judgment

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to issue instructions “at the earliest and not later than four months” for giving reservation in promotions to persons with disabilities (PwDs).

A Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao dismissed an application filed by the Centre seeking “clarifications” in a January 14, 2020 judgment of the apex court confirming that PwDs have a right to reservation in promotions.

The court said there were no ambiguities in the January 2020 judgment in Siddaraju v. State of Karnataka.

It said instructions should be issued in accordance with Section 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which provides that “every appropriate government shall appoint in every government establishment not less than four per cent of the total number of vacancies in the cadre strength in each group of posts meant to be filled with persons with benchmark disabilities ...”

The government’s applications wanted the court to clarify whether vacancies for promotion for PwDs would be computed only on the basis of the vacancies against the identified posts or against the vacancies in both identified and non-identified posts.

The government contended that there was a conflict between two judgments of the apex court — Union of India v. National Federation of the Blind and Rajeev Kumar Gupta v. Union of India — rendered three years apart in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

It said in the National Federation of the Blind case, the Supreme Court held that the computation of reservation for PwDs has to be done in case of Group A, B, C & D posts by computing 3% reservation on total number of vacancies in the cadre strength, i.e., both identified and non-identified posts.

However, in Rajeev Kumar Gupta, the Supreme Court directed the government to extend 3% reservation to PwDs in all identified posts in Group A and B.

“The applicant is unable to reconcile the rule position in above judgments resulting in difficulties in implementation ofthe decision rendered in Siddaraju,” the government said in its application.