New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the preliminary examination for civil services, but came down heavily on UPSC and various cadre controlling authorities of the Centre for reserving only two seats for visually impaired candidates.
"Prima facie, we find substance in the contention of the writ petitioner that the reservation for visually impaired candidates is not in conformity with Section 33 of the Disabilities Act. However, we are not inclined to stay the Preliminary Examination on that ground," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.
The court, however, allowed another plea of NGO Sambhavana, which works for the visually impaired persons, that civil services aspirants of the category be given 20 minutes extra time per hour to answer questions in the preliminary and the mains examinations.
"The visually impaired candidates shall be allowed additional time/compensatory time of 20 minutes per hour in both Preliminary and Main Examinations, apart from extending the help of scribe as provided under the guidelines dated February 26, 2013 issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment," the bench said.
The court`s interim orders came on two separate pleas, filed by the NGO in a pending petition on the issue, seeking reliefs including that visually impaired candidates be granted 20 minutes more time per hour to write their answers papers and the PE for the civil services be stayed till one per cent seats, out of total 1291 vacancies, are reserved for them.
The UPSC`s examination notice said that 1291 vacancies were proposed to be filled up including 26 vacancies reserved for physically handicapped category.
However, only two vacancies were reserved for the visually impaired candidates whereas for the hearing impaired candidates and loco motor disabled candidates, 12 vacancies each are reserved, the NGO had said.
The Act provides three per cent seats will be reserved for handicapped persons and out of them, the visually impaired persons will have one per cent share.