08 Jun, 2022 10:31a.m.

SC asks Govt to review disability quota exemption for IPS, DANIPS and IRPFS


The Supreme Court has urged the Centre to reconsider the blanket exemption given to the Indian Police Service (IPS), DANIPS, and IRPFS from the onus of reserving positions for disabled people under the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016.

The highest court's decision came after the government declared in an affidavit that people with benchmark disabilities — those who have a disability of more than 40% — are not evaluated for any position in the three agencies due to the nature of their work.

In addition to the IPS, the NCT of Delhi, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, the Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli Police Service (DANIPS), and the Indian Railway Protection Force Service (IRFPS) are excluded from making such reservations.

Attorney General K K Venugopal stated during the case's hearing on May 19 that the "affidavit may need to be relooked at."

The court was hearing a petition from the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled, which had challenged a notification from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment's Department of Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities (DEPWD) exempting Persons with Benchmark Disabilities from reserving posts in the three services.

The DEPWD is the entity with the power to exempt any Central government post or service from the Act's reservation provisions.

Requests for exemption from the Act's scope from Central government establishments are assessed by an Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) led by the department's Joint Secretary, which was formed on August 16, 2017.

An SC bench presided by Justice A M Khanwilkar agreed with senior counsel Arvind Datar's submission that the IDC did not discuss all categories of disability in its August 13, 2021 meeting to discuss the MHA's request for exemption from the reservations, "including [those] relating to the feasibility of appointment to non-combative posts."

The court stated, "In such a case, it is reasonable for the Committee to reexamine the subject." "While doing so, it should consider the experts' suggestions as well as the additional remark to be provided by the petitioner."

On March 25, 2022, the Supreme Court allowed candidates with physical disabilities who passed the civil service written exam to apply provisionally for the three services, stating that their claims will be evaluated pending the conclusion of the lawsuit.

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