[AI] SC reinstates visually impaired employee of PSEB
dl.vikas at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 00:25:05 EST 2008
SC reinstates visually impaired employee of PSEB
Express News Service
Posted online Tuesday, January 08, 2008 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi, January 7 Reminding the Government that disabled persons too are part of the society and can't be denied of their rights, the Supreme Court
came to the rescue of a Class IV employee, a linesman with the Punjab State Electricity Board, who lost his vision completely during the service.
"The denial of their rights would not only be unjust and unfair to them and their families but would also create larger and graver problems for the society
at large," said a Bench comprising Justices G P Mathur and Aftab Alam.
"This case highlights the highly insensitive and apathetic attitude harboured by some of us, living a normal healthy life towards those unfortunate fellowmen
who fell the victim to some incapacitating disability," the Bench observed as it dealt with a case where the appellant, Bhagwan Dass, was terminated by
the PSEB saying that he himself had wanted to retire.
Deploring the stand taken by his employer, the court said "From the narrow point of view, the officers were duty bound to follow the law and it was not
open to them to allow their own bias to defeat the lawful rights of the disabled employee."
Setting aside the decision of the Board terminating the appellant's services from March 21, 1997, the court held it as "bad and illegal." And following
the provision of the Disability Act, the Bench further directed Dass to be reinstated, with all due payments to be made to him within six weeks.
Justice Alam, who wrote the judgment, noted "From the larger point of view, the officers failed to realise that the disabled are equal citizens of the
country and have as much share in its resources as any other citizen."
"What the law permits to them is no charity or largesse, but their right as equal citizens of the country," the Bench added.
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