The Delhi High Court has set aside the transfer of an orthopaedically handicapped railway employee to Chhattisgarh, saying the State has to ensure that persons with disabilities are not subjected to unnecessary and relentless harassment by being transferred to places where they are unable to get an environment conducive for their working.
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said the law provides for equal opportunity for persons with disabilities, and to ensure the same, there are several office memorandums which state that transfers and job postings of such employees has to be such that they are given the choice to be posted at their preferred place and may even be exempted from rotational transfers.
“State shall ensure that the Persons with Disabilities are not subjected to unnecessary and relentless harassment by being transferred/posted at places where they are unable to get an environment which is conducive for their working. Furthermore, it aims at ensuring that the Persons with Disabilities shall have the requisite medical facilities, etc. available at the place they are posted,” said the court in a recent order.
The petitioner, an employee of IRCON International Ltd, a government company incorporated by Ministry of Railways, submitted he has a knee length prosthetic, which needs regular maintenance at a workshop in Delhi, and he is under the supervision of medical professionals here.
A posting outside Delhi, he said, will deprive him of access to health care that he needs due to his special and severe medical condition.
Justice Singh said the court has to be more sensitive and empathetic to the plight of a person with disability in order to ensure that values enshrined in the Constitution of India are duly protected, and concluded that the transfer of the petitioner to another state may hinder his treatment.
The court noted Section 20 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act states that government shall provide reasonable accommodation, appropriate barrier-free and conducive environment to all such people.
“The State has issued various Office memorandums pertaining to posting and transfers of Persons with Disabilities .. (with the objective of) ensuring that the transfers and job postings of the Persons with Disabilities shall be in such a way that they shall be given the choice to be posted at their preferred place of posting and may even be exempted from rotational transfers as mandated for other employees,” the court said.
“This Court deems it necessary to interfere and set aside the impugned orders. The respondent no.1 acted in violation of the Article 14 of the Constitution of India since it ignored the special needs of the petitioner and posted him to a far-off place. Accordingly, the writ is allowed and the transfer Order dated 22nd August 2022 .. and the relieving Order dated 23rd August 2022 ..passed by the respondent No.1 (IRCON) transferring the petitioner to Chhattisgarh Rail Project, are set aside,” ordered the court.