Search This Site

Friday, September 27, 2013

Supreme Court judgment - annulled the forced retirement of a government official after he acquired a disability during service

From A recent Supreme Court judgment which annulled the forced retirement of a government official after he acquired a disability during service is important as a service rule and as an affirmation of the rights of the disabled. The court directed the union government to pay all service benefits to an IAS officer of the 1977 batch, Anil Mahajan, who was compulsorily retired in 2007 owing to mental illness. He could not be reinstated in service because he has crossed the age of superannuation. Mahajan was suspended from service in 1993 and an enquiry found him unfit for service after 11 years. He challenged the inquiry and the action against him in the Central Administrative Tribunal which rejected his case. However the Supreme Court upheld his case on appeal and prescribed some norms which will have a bearing on the treatment of disabled persons in service. The court extended the scope of the 1995 law on disabilities by interpreting that it covered impairments to body and mind acquired during service also. It ruled that persons who become disabled during their service should be moved to a position suitable to their condition. If such a position was not available, they should be kept in a supernumerary status till a suitable post is found. This is in line with the spirit of the 1995 law which has empowered differently abled persons in various ways. If a disabled person is given suitable employment, there is no reason why a person should be deprived of his job if he becomes disabled as a result of an accident or for other reasons. It is common sense to protect his or her livelihood, and inhuman to deprive him or her of his job. Though the judgment has made the issue clear and given relief to the victim of an unfair decision, it is felt that the provisions of the law need to be clearly spelt out in this respect. The 1995 law on disabilities was a path-breaking one and did much to define and bring into the focus the rights of the disabled. But fresh legislation may be needed to cover new forms of disabilities or situations like those brought to light by Mahajan’s petition. The differently abled persons form 10 per cent of the population. They are victims of prejudice and discrimination at different levels. The government and society should ensure that they get the right and fair treatment in every way.

No comments:

Post a Comment