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Quota for persons with disabilities; SC seeks Centre's reply

Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to reply within four weeks to a fresh plea of an NGO seeking initiation of contempt proceedings for not complying with an earlier order of providing three per cent quota in jobs to persons with disabilities.



New Delhi: Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to reply within four weeks to a fresh plea of an NGO seeking initiation of contempt proceedings for not complying with an earlier order of providing three per cent quota in jobs to persons with disabilities.

"The alleged contemnor (Secretary of the Department of Personal and Training (DoPT)) is directed to file response within four weeks. List it February 16," a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and Arun Mishra said.

Senior advocate S K Rungta, appearing in person for his NGO National Federation of the Blind, said Sanjay Kothari, Secretary of DoPT, has committed contempt by not amending the Centre's office memorandum (OM) as per the earlier direction of the apex court in this regard.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for DoPT, opposed the plea saying, "there is no contempt and I can show it from records right now. In any case, it will file the reply."

The court then fixed the contempt plea for hearing on February 16. Earlier, the court, while issuing notice to the Centre, had exempted the DoPT Secretary from personal appearance "for the present".

The bench was hearing the plea of the NGO which said that DoPT has issued an OM for providing 3 per cent quota to persons with disabilities.

The posts should have been computed against total number of vacancies in the cadre strength to be filled up through direct recruitment in group A and B posts, the NGO said, adding "this amendment in the office memorandum was not in accordance with the direction of the court."

It alleged that other clauses, which were also to be amended to comply with the court's directions, have not been changed "intentionally and deliberately".

Most of the clauses relate to quantum of reservation and maintenance of roster, it claimed.

The DoPT also did not take steps to fill up the vacancies, to be calculated against the reservation for persons with disabilities, adopting the manner of computation in terms of court's directions within a period of three months.

The NGO has also sought direction to the DoPT to ensure

"strict and timely compliance" of court's earlier order to revive a committee for undertaking a centralised special recruitment drive to clear up the backlog of reserved vacancies for such persons.

The court, in an order passed on October 8, 2013, had provided separate one per cent reservation for each of the three categories of persons with disabilities namely persons suffering from blindness and low vision, those suffering from hearing disability and those suffering from locomotor disability or cerebral palsy respectively.

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