[AI] Government rapped for refusing handicapped girl a job

Surya Prakash Sharma surya.sharma26 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 23 01:24:22 EDT 2010


thanks for sharing the information. the text of the decision is being pasted 
below.
                                                                 REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.5646 OF 2010
                   (Arising out of SLP (C) No.12866 of 2009)


Union of India and others                                    .... Appellants



            Versus



Miss Pritilata Nanda                                          .... 
Respondent




                                  O R D E R

     Leave granted.



     The    only   question   which   arises   for   consideration   in 
this

appeal filed by the Union of India and four functionaries of South

Eastern Railway against the order of the Division Bench of Orissa

High Court is whether respondent ­ Miss Pritilata Nanda, who is

physically handicapped, could be denied appointment on Class III

post despite her selection by the competent authority only on the

ground that she did not get her name sponsored by an employment

exchange.



     Since the inception of mankind, many lacs have suffered from

different   types of    physical handicaps (today about 600 million

people suffer from such handicaps), but many of them overcame all

kinds of handicaps and achieved distinctions in various fields.

Sarah Bernhardt ­ French actress was disabled by a knee injury.

Her leg was amputated in 1914 but she continued to work on stage

until just before her death.               Beethoven was deaf when he 
composed

his 9th symphony.          Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison,

Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Nelson Rockefeller, George

Washington and many others had learning disability. 
Stevie Wonder

who was blinded during his childhood became world famous pianist

and   singer.      Brail,     who    was    a   blind,    had     the 
distinction   of

inventing script for the blind.                 With the aid of brail 
script, a

large   number    of    physically     handicapped        (blind)       made 
tremendous

achievement in life.          Dr. Hellen Keller who was blind became an

international figure because despite her handicap, she discovered

the world through her finger tips.                Her achievements of 
difficult

goals and her loving kindness made her life an inspiration for

countless people all over the world.               Expressing his admiration 
for

Dr.   Hellen     Keller,     Eleanor       Roosevelt     wrote    "in    her 
life   and

happiness in life, Miss Keller has taught an unforgettable lesson

to the rest of us who would not have had such difficulties to

overcome.      Ralph Barton Perry in his introduction to Dr. Keller's

book `The Story of My Life' wrote "it is true that Hellen Keller is

handicapped as indeed, who is not but that which distinguishes her

is not her handicap but the extent to which she has overcome it and

even profited by it.         She calls for sympathy and understanding and

not   pity.      No    one   can    know    her   or   read      her 
without   feeling

admiration and gratitude.            Soordas and Milton, both of whom were

blind    made   poetry      great    by    their    brilliance      and 
richness   of

thoughts and language.         Edison, a great scientist and inventor was

deaf.     Byron, a great poet of England and Taimoor Leng, Mangolian

warrior were lame.           Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a great warrior and

administrator was handicapped in eye sight.                     Mr. Mukat 
Behari Lal,

a renowned and eminent advocate of the country, who became blind at

a young age acquired phenomenal memory and argued cases after cases

with     extraordinary      brilliance.            He    also    remained 
member    of

Parliament for two decades and did not face any difficulty in

discharging his role in that capacity.



       The framers of the Constitution recognized the necessity of

providing    assistance to          the physically challenged by making it

obligatory      for   the    State,       within   the    limits    of 
its   economic

capacity and development, to make effective provision for securing

the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases

of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other

cases of undeserved want. (Article 41).



       In Jacob M. Puthuparambil and others v. Kerala Water Authority

and others (1991) 1 SCC 28, this Court highlighted the importance

of both, Part III and Part IV of the Constitution in the following

words:

            "The Preamble of our Constitution obligates the
            State to secure to all its citizens social and
            economic justice, besides political justice. By
            the Forty-second Amendment, the Preamble of the
            Constitution was amended to say that ours will be
            a socialistic democracy. In furtherance of these

promises    certain     fundamental     rights    were
engrafted in Part III of the Constitution. The
Constitution     guarantees     `equality',     abhors
discrimination, prohibits and penalises forced
labour   in   any form whatsoever and extends
protection    against     exploitation    of    labour
including child labour. After extending these
guarantees,    amongst others, the Constitution
makers proceeded to chart out the course for the
governance of the country in Part IV of the
Constitution entitled `Directive Principles of
State Policy'. These principles reflect the hopes
and aspirations of the people. Although the
provisions of this part are not enforceable by
any court, the principles laid down therein are
nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the
country and the State is under an obligation to
apply them in making laws. The principles laid
down therein, therefore, define the objectives
and goals which the State must endeavour to
achieve   over    a period of time. Therefore,
whenever the State is required to make laws it
must do so consistently with these principles
with a view to securing social and economic
freedom so essential for the establishment of an
egalitarian    society.    This    part,    therefore,
mandates that the State shall strive to promote
the welfare of the people by minimising the
inequalities      in    income     and     eliminating
inequalities      in    status,     facilities     and
opportunities; by directing its policy towards
securing, amongst others, the distribution of the
material resources of the community to subserve
the common good; by so operating the economic
system as not to result in concentration of
wealth; and by making effective provision for
securing the right to work as also to public
assistance in cases of unemployment, albeit
within the limits of its economic capacities.
There are certain other provisions which enjoin
on the State certain duties, e.g. securing to all
workers work, a living wage, just and humane
conditions of work, a decent standard of life,
participation in management, etc. which are aimed
at improving the lot of the working classes. Thus
the Preamble promises socio-economic justice, the
fundamental rights confer certain justiciable
socio-economic      rights    and    the     Directive
Principles fix the socio-economic goals which the
State must strive to attain. These three together
constitute   the core and conscience of the
Constitution."

     In      last   about   six    decades,      the   Parliament     and 
State

Legislatures have enacted several laws for giving effect to the

provisions      contained    in    Part    IV    of    the     Constitution 
but

implementation of these legislations has been extremely tardy and

intended beneficiaries of such legislations have to struggle hard

and, at times, seek intervention of the Court for getting their

dues.



     In one of her lectures, Dr. Hellen Keller said: Science may

have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for

the worst of them all ­ the apathy of human beings.               This 
appeal is

one of many cases illustrative of lack of sensitivity on the part

of   those    entrusted     with   the    task   of    doing    justice 
on    the

administrative side which is sine qua non for good governance. The

respondent, who suffers from paralysis of lower limbs, has become a

victim of constitutionally flawed approach adopted by the officers

of South Eastern Railway and has been deprived of her legitimate

right to be appointed on a Class III post.              The respondent 
appears

to have become so frustrated that even though she succeeded in

convincing the High Court to issue a direction to the competent

authority to appoint her on a Class III post with retrospective

effect, she has not thought it proper to appear and contest this

appeal filed against order dated 5.8.2008 passed by the Division

Bench of Orissa High Court in O.J.C. No.9958/2001.

      In response to notification / advertisement dated 31.1.1987

issued by the office of Railway Divisional Manager, South Eastern

Railway, Khurda Road, the respondent applied for appointment as

Class    III     employee.     At    the   relevant    time,    she 
possessed   the

qualification of B.A. (Economics with Hons.) and was registered

with Employment Exchange, Pun with registration No.CW/750/87 (Code

No.XOI/30).



      The        competent     authority     entertained        the 
respondent's

application and allowed her to appear in the written test held on

2.7.1989.        On being declared successful in the written test, the

respondent was called for viva voce test.               She was finally 
selected

and      her name was placed at serial No. 11 in the merit list.

Notwithstanding this, she was not appointed against one of the

advertised posts and those placed at Sl. Nos.12 and 13 were offered

appointment.        The respondent represented her grievance before the

higher authorities of South Eastern Railway, but without success.

She then filed O.A. No. 112 of 1996 in Cuttack Bench of the Central

Administrative Tribunal (for short, `the Tribunal').                    The 
Tribunal

passed      an   interim     order   and   made   it    clear    that    any 
future

appointment of physically handicapped candidate will be subject to

the result of the O.A.               During the pendency of the case, the

respondent's father was informed by General Manager, South Eastern

Railway, Caluctta that his daughter's case would be considered only

if the O.A. is withdrawn.            Thereupon, the respondent withdrew O.A.

No. 112 of 1996.             However, her candidature was not considered

necessitating filing of O.A. No. 198 of 1997 in which she prayed

for issue of a direction to the concerned authorities of South

Eastern Railway to appoint her on a class III post.                In the 
counter

filed by the appellants herein, it was pleaded that even though the

respondent      had   been   selected,    she   was    not   offered 
appointment

because   her    candidature      had   not   been    sponsored   by   any 
special

employment exchange or any ordinary employment exchange.



     By   an     order   dated    3.5.2001,     the    Tribunal   dismissed 
O.A.

No.198/1997     by    observing    that   respondent's       candidature 
was    not

sponsored by any employment exchange.                 The Tribunal 
distinguished

the judgments of this Court in Excise Superintendent, Malkapatnam,

Krishna District, A.P.        v. K.B.N. Visweshwara Rao and others (1996)

6 SCC 216 and of the Orissa High Court in Susanta Kumar Kar v.

Registrar (Judicial), Orissa High Court, Cuttack, 83(1997) CLT 335

by making the following observations:



           "In support of his contention the learned counsel
           for the petitioner has relied on the decision of
           the Hon'ble High Court of Orissa in the case of
           Susanta Kumar Kar vs. Registrar (Judicial),
           Orissa High Court, Cuttack, 83(1997) CLT 335. In
           that case, going by the decision of the Hon'ble
           Supreme   Court   ion    the   case   of   Excise
           Superintendent, Malkapatnam, Krishna District,
           Andhra Pradesh vs. KBN Viweshwara Rao and others,
           19965 (7) SCC 201, the Hon'ble High Court have
           held that for the post of Junior Assistant in the
           High Court of Orissa, compulsory sponsoring
           arrangement by employment exchange, if insisted
           upon, affects interests of those candidates who
           have not been able to register their names or are
           awaiting to be so registered, and therefore, the
           opposite parties were directed to consider the
           cases of those candidates who have applied

           directly to the High Court. IN the instant case,
           the respondents in their counter have stated that
           applications were invited in 1987 and written
           test held on 2.7.1989 and viva voce was held on
           28.8.1989 and 6.11.1989.     Thus, the selection
           process in this was undertaken much before the
           decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court and
           therefore the law as laid down by the Hon'ble
           Supreme Court in the above case is not applicable
           to the present case.   We accept the above stand
           of the respondents."


     The   respondent   challenged   the   aforesaid   order   in   O.J.C.

No.9958/2001.   The Division Bench of the High Court referred to the

pleadings of the parties and observed:

           "In view of the aforesaid stand taken by the
           Railway authority, the averments made by the
           petitioner remain uncontroverted and are affirmed.
           The recruitment process started in the year 1987
           through an advertisement and thereafter, written
           test and viva voce test were held in the year 1989
           and the select list of candidates was published on
           14.1.1992.   It is indeed necessary to note the
           very sorry state of affairs of the manner in which
           the authorities concerned are dealing with the
           life and livelihood of common citizens. It needs
           to be reiterated that whereas physical handicapped
           candidates are required to be approached with a
           more compassionate manner, the authorities seem to
           have acted in a callous and heartless manner.

           Once the petitioner's application was accepted by
           the authorities and she was allowed to appear in
           the written and viva voce tests and after name
           find mention at serial No.11 of the merit list, it
           was no longer open to the authorities concerned to
           raise any question relating to petitioner's
           application for the purpose of dis-entitling her
           from   the  benefit   of  issuing   her  with   an
           appointment letter. We consider it to be a gross
           abuse of the statutory power.     In the case at
           hand, the plight of the petitioner is writ large
           in the averments contained in the writ application
           and accompanying documents and unfortunately, the
           utter callous attitude of the authorities are writ
           large in the counter affidavit filed on behalf of
           Opp. Party No.5. It is indeed unfortunate that a
           physically handicapped female candidate who had

         applied in the year 1989 and more than 20 years
         have lapsed by now, has been denied appointment by
         the Railway authorities which is none else, but
         the Union of India, which is supposed to be an
         ideal employer."


     The Division Bench then referred to the two judgments on which

reliance was placed by the respondent and observed:

          "It is reiterated herein that once the Court has
          held that compulsory sponsoring arrangement by
          Employment Exchange, if insisted upon, affects
          interest of those candidates who have not been
          able to register their names or are awaiting to
          be so registered, the same principle is final and
          binding on all courts and Judicial Tribunals and
          would apply fully to any pending case. We are of
          the view that the Tribunal, in the present case
          has approached the subject in pedantic manner by
          treating    the   aforesaid    judgment   has   only
          prospective operation even though the challenge
          was pending before it even after the judgments
          were pronounced both by the Hon'ble Supreme Court
          and the High Court.         It is averred by the
          petitioner and not denied by the Opp. Parties
          that the petitioner had registered her name in
          the Employment Exchange, Puri and had been
          granted a Registration number. Apart from it, all
          necessary certificates in support of her being a
          handicapped candidate has been appended to her
          application    along  with    her  certificates   of
          educational qualification.

               We are of the view that the petitioner
          satisfied all requirements of the advertisement
          inviting applications by the Railways and after
          accepting    her   application   and   ultimately
          preparing a select list which contained her name,
          not issuing appointment letter to her amounts to
          travesty of justice."


     The Division Bench finally allowed the writ petition in the

following terms:

         "In view of the discussions made herein above,
         the writ application is allowed and the order
         impugned under Annexure-1 is quashed and we
         direct Opp. Parties 4 and 5 to issue the

              petitioner with necessary letter of appointment
              and such appointment shall be given effect to
              from the date on which her juniors have been
              given appointment.   We further direct that the
              petitioner shall also be entitled to full back
              wages and seniority.   The letter of appointment
              be issued to the petitioner within a period of 30
              (thirty) days from the date of this judgment and
              all   arrears  be  computed   and  paid   to  the
              petitioner within a period of six months from
              today."


       Shri Mohan Jain, learned Additional Solicitor General referred

to the advertisement issued by the office of Divisional Railway

Manager to show that the names of the candidates were required to

be sponsored by any special or ordinary employment exchange and

argued       that    the     appellants      rightly     refused       to 
appoint     the

respondent         because     her   name    had   not    been     sponsored 
by    the

employment exchange.            Learned Additional Solicitor General further

argued      that    even   though    the    application    of     the 
respondent    was

entertained         without    insisting      on   sponsoring         her 
name   by    the

employment exchange and her name was included in the merit list,

she did not acquire a to be appointed against the advertised post

and    the    High     Court    committed     serious     error       by 
ordaining     her

appointment with retrospective effect along with monetary benefits.



       In our opinion, there is no merit in the arguments of the

learned      Additional       Solicitor     General.      In    the 
first    place,    we

consider it necessary to observe that the condition embodied in the

advertisement that the candidate should get his/her name sponsored

by    any    special    employment     exchange     or    any    ordinary 
employment

exchange cannot be equated with a mandatory provision incorporated

in a statute, the violation of which may visit the concerned person

with penal consequence.      The requirement of notifying the vacancies

to the employment exchange is embodied in the Employment Exchanges

(Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 (for short, `the

1959 Act'), but there is nothing in the Act which obligates the

employer to appoint only those who are sponsored by the employment

exchange.      Section   4   of   the   1959   Act,   which   provides   for

notification of vacancies to employment exchanges reads as under:



             "4(1) After the commencement of this Act in any
            State or area thereof, the employer in every
            establishment in public sector in that State or
            area shall, before filling up any vacancy in any
            employment in that establishment, notify that
            vacancy to such employment exchanges as may be
            prescribed.

            (2)    The   appropriate     government     may,   by
            notification in the Official Gazette, require that
            from such date as may be specified in the
            notification, the employer in every establishment
            in   private    sector   or     every   establishment
            pertaining   to    any   class     or   category   of
            establishments in private sector shall, before
            filling up any vacancy in any employment in that
            establishment,   notify    that    vacancy   to  such
            employment exchanges as may be prescribed, and the
            employer   shall    thereupon    comply    with  such
            requisition.

            (3) The manner in which the vacancies referred to
            in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be
            notified of the employment exchanges and the
            particulars of employments in which such vacancies
            have occurred or are about to occur shall be such
            as may be prescribed.

            (4) Nothing in sub-sections (1) and (2) shall be
            deemed to impose any obligation upon any employer
            to recruit any person through the employment
            exchanges to fill any vacancy merely because that
            vacancy has been notified under any of those sub-
            sections."

     A reading of the plain language of Section 4 makes it clear

that even though the employer is required to notify the vacancies

to the employment exchanges, it is not obliged to recruit only

those who are sponsored by the employment exchanges.            In Union of

India v. N. Hargopal (1987) 3 SCC 308, this Court examined the

scheme of the 1959 Act and observed:

          "It is evident that there is no provision in the
          Act which obliges an employer to make appointments
          through the agency of the Employment Exchanges.
          Far from it, Section 4(4) of the Act, on the other
          hand, makes it explicitly clear that the employer
          is under no obligation to recruit any person
          through the Employment Exchanges to fill in a
          vacancy merely because that vacancy has been
          notified under Section 4(1) or Section 4(2). In
          the face of Section 4(4), we consider it utterly
          futile for the learned Additional Solicitor
          General to argue that the Act imposes any
          obligation on the employers apart from notifying
          the vacancies to the Employment Exchanges."

               xxx                 xxx            xxx
               xxx

          "It is, therefore, clear that the object of the
          Act is not to restrict, but to enlarge the field
          of choice so that the employer may choose the best
          and the most efficient and to provide an
          opportunity to the worker to have his claim for
          appointment considered without the worker having
          to knock at every door for employment. We are,
          therefore, firmly of the view that the Act does
          not oblige any employer to employ those persons
          only who have been sponsored by the Employment
          Exchanges."
          (emphasis supplied)


     In K.B.N. Visweshwara Rao's case, a three-Judge Bench of this

Court   considered   a   similar    question,   referred   to   an   earlier

judgment in Union of India v. N. Hargopal (supra) and observed:

             "It is common knowledge that many a candidate is
             unable to have the names sponsored, though their
             names are either registered or are waiting to be
             registered in the employment exchange, with the
             result that the choice of selection is restricted
             to only such of the candidates whose names come to
             be sponsored by the employment exchange. Under
             these circumstances, many a deserving candidate is
             deprived of the right to be considered for
             appointment to a post under the State. Better view
             appears to be that it should be mandatory for the
             requisitioning    authority/     establishment    to
             intimate the employment exchange, and employment
             exchange   should   sponsor   the   names   of   the
             candidates to the requisitioning departments for
             selection strictly according to seniority and
             reservation, as per requisition. In addition, the
             appropriate    department    or    undertaking    or
             establishment should call for the names by
             publication   in   the   newspapers   having   wider
             circulation and also display on their office
             notice boards or announce on radio, television and
             employment news bulletins; and then consider the
             cases of all the candidates who have applied. If
             this procedure is adopted, fair play would be
             subserved. The equality of opportunity in the
             matter of employment would be available to all
             eligible candidates."




      By applying the ratio of the above noted judgments to the case

in   hand,   we   hold   that   the   concerned   authorities   of   the 
South

Eastern Railway committed grave illegality by denying appointment

to the respondent only on the ground that she did not get her name

sponsored by an employment exchange.



      The issue deserves to be considered from another angle. 
It

was neither the pleaded case of the appellants before the Tribunal

and the High Court nor any evidence was produced by them to prove

that notification/advertisement dated 31.1.1987 was sent to all the

employment exchanges including the special employment exchanges in

the State of Orissa.            Before this Court also, no document has been

produced   to      show    that    the    advertisement            was 
circulated      to   the

employment exchanges in the State.                      In this backdrop, it 
is not

possible     to     approve       the     stance      of     the 
appellants        that     the

respondent        was     not   appointed         because      she       did 
not   get     her

candidature sponsored by an employment exchange.



      We also agree with the High Court that once the candidature of

the respondent was accepted by the concerned authorities and she

was   allowed      to     participate      in     the      process       of 
selection       i.e.,

written test and viva voce, it was not open to them to turn around

and question her entitlement to be considered for appointment as

per her placement in the merit list on the specious ground that her

name had not been sponsored by the employment exchange.



      In   our      considered          view,    by     denying 
appointment         to     the

respondent despite her selection and placement in the merit list,

the appellants violated her right to equality in the matter of

employment guaranteed under Article 16 of the Constitution.



      However, there is a small aberration in the operative part of

the impugned order.             While the High Court was fully justified in

directing the appellants to appoint the respondent from the date

persons lower in merit were appointed, but it is not possible to

confirm    the     direction       given        for   payment       of 
full    salary       with

retrospective effect.             In our view, the High Court should have

directed the appellants to notionally fix the pay of the respondent

with effect from the date person placed at Sl. No.12 at the merit

list was appointed and give her all monetary benefits with effect

from that date.



      In    the     result,   the    appeal     is     dismissed. 
However,    the

operative part of the impugned order is modified in the following

terms:

(1)   The concerned competent authority of the South Eastern Railway

shall,     within    a   period     of   two   weeks    from   today, 
issue     order

appointing the respondent on a Class III post.                  The 
appointment of

the respondent shall be made effective from the date person placed

at Sl. Nos.12 in the merit list was appointed.                      The pay 
of the

respondent shall be notionally fixed with effect from that date and

she   shall   be     given    actual     monetary    benefits    with 
effect    from

5.9.2008 i.e., the date specified in the order passed by the High

Court.

 (2) The pay of the respondent shall also be fixed in the revised

pay scales introduced from time to time and she be paid arrears

within a period of four months.

(3)   The   seniority of       the respondent among Class III employees

shall be fixed by placing her below the person who was placed at

Sl. No.10 in the merit list.

(4)   If during the intervening period, any person junior to the

respondent has been promoted on the next higher post, then her

candidature shall also be considered for promotion and on being

found suitable, she shall be promoted with effect from the date any

of her junior was promoted and she be given all consequential

benefits.

(5)   The   General Manager, South Eastern Railway is directed to

ensure that the respondent is not victimised by being posted in a

remote area.

(6)   Since   the   respondent   has   been     deprived              of 
her          rights   for

almost   21 years,    we direct the appellants to pay her cost 
of

Rs.3,00,000/-.      The amount of cost shall be paid within 2 months

from today.



      The Divisional Railway Manager, South Eastern Railway, Khurda

Road shall send compliance report to this Court on or before 22nd

November, 2010.      The Registry shall bring the report to the notice

of the Court by listing the case on judicial side.



      Copies of this order be sent to General Manager, South Eastern

Railway, Garden Reach, Calcutta, Divisional Railway Manager (P),

Khurda Road, Jatni, District Khurda and respondent, Miss Pritilata

Nanda, D/o Mr. Nityananda Nanda, Nanda Nivas-II, Dutta Tola, Post

Office/District ­ Puri, Orissa.

                                         ........................................J.
                                         [G.S. Singhvi]


                                           ...........................................J.
                                           [Asok Kumar Ganguly]
New Delhi
July 16, 2010.

ITEM NO.48                   COURT NO.11              SECTION XIA


             S U P R E M E      C O U R T   O F    I N D I A
                             RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No(s).12866/2009

(From the judgement and order dated 05/08/2008            in    OJC    No.
9958/2001 of The HIGH COURT OF ORISSA AT CUTTACK)

UNION OF INDIA & ORS.                                  Petitioner(s)

                   VERSUS

PRITILATA NANDA                                        Respondent(s)

Date: 16/07/2010    This Petition was called on for hearing today.

CORAM :
          HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. SINGHVI
          HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE ASOK KUMAR GANGULY

For Petitioner(s)      Mr.   Mohan Jain, ASG
                       Mr.   D.K.Thakur, Adv.
                       Ms.   Rohini Mukherjee, Adv.
                       Mr.   Subhash Kaushik, Adv.
                       Mr.   A.K.Sharma, Adv.
                       Ms.   Sushma Suri,Adv.


For Respondent(s)


             UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following
                                 O R D E R

     Leave granted.

     The appeal is dismissed.       However, the operative part of the

impugned order is modified to the terms indicated in the signed

order.



   ( Satish K.Yadav )                      ( Phoolan Wati Arora )
      Court Master                              Court Master
            [ Signed reportable order is placed on the file ]




----- Original Message ----- 
From: "pradeep banakar" <pradeepsocialwork at gmail.com>
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Sent: Friday, July 23, 2010 11:36 AM
Subject: [AI] Government rapped for refusing handicapped girl a job


Government rapped for refusing handicapped girl a job

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/government-rapped-for-refusing-handicapped-girl-a-job_100400251.html

Thaindian News
New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court has pulled up the central
government for denying a job to physically handicapped girl Pritilata
Nanda of Orissa on the grounds that she did not get her name routed
through an employment exchange. Nanda was also awarded damages of
Rs.300,000.
Besides the central government, four officials of South Eastern
Railways were also slammed for showing “lack of sensitivity”. Nanda
suffers from paralysis of the lower limbs.

In a order delivered last Friday but released only Thursday, a bench
of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly said getting
the name sponsored by an employment exchange could not be equated with
mandatory provision incorporated in a statute, the violation of which
may make the person concerned liable to penal consequences.

The court said that the conduct of the railway officials was
“constitutionally flawed”, thus depriving Nanda of her “legitimate
right to be appointed on a class III post”. The court directed the
central government to pay Nanda Rs.300,000 in damages as she was
deprived of her rights for almost 21 years.

“This appeal (by the centre and South Eastern Railway) is one of the
many cases illustrative of lack of sensitivity on the part of those
entrusted with the task of doing justice on the administrative side
which is the sine qua non (condition) for good governance,” the order
said.

The court said that in her battle spanning over 21 years, Nanda
“became so frustrated that even though she succeeded in convincing the
high court to issue a direction to the competent authority to appoint
her on a Class III post with retrospective effect, she has not thought
it proper to appear and contest this appeal (filed by the central
government and others) against the order passed by the division bench
of the Orissa High Court”.

Besides the costs, the court directed the South Eastern Railway to
issue, within two weeks, an order appointing Nanda to a class three
post. Her appointment shall be made effective from the date the person
placed at serial number 12 in the merit list was appointed, the order
said.

Nanda’s pay shall be notionally fixed from the date of her appointment
and she would be given actual monetary benefits with effect from Sep
5, 2008, the date specified in the high court’s order, the apex court
said. Besides this, she would entitled to all other benefits including
revision of pay from time and promotions, if any.

The court also directed the general manager, South Eastern Railways to
ensure that she was not harassed by being posted to remote areas. The
official has been asked to send the compliance report to the court by
Nov 22.

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