The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the city government to undertake a special recruitment drive for filling up the backlog of vacancies reserved for persons with disabilities in a time bound manner.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma also directed filling up the vacancies reported by different departments against the reservation for promotion in relation to persons with disabilities and said any deviation from the schedule set by it will invite contempt action for non-compliance.
The court asked the Delhi government departments/ establishments to send within 30 days a requisition in relation to vacant posts to the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board or the Union Public Service Commission, which will the requisite notification for filling up the backlog within the next 30 days.
The court granted further time of 30 days each to the authorities to conclude the process of selection and appointment.
For the purposes of promotion, the court ordered that notification of eligible candidates for consideration against vacancies be issued within a period of 45 days and the process of convening of Departmental Promotion Committee/interview by the authority concerned be concluded and order of appointment issued within another 45 days and 30 days, respectively.
The court’s order came on a public interest litigation by the National Federation of the Blind alleging inaction by authorities in filling up the vacancies reserved for ‘Blind and Low Vision candidates’ as well as to provide them reservation in line with the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 and its rules.
The court recorded that 1351 vacancies are available under ‘Direct Recruitment quota for Persons with Disabilities’, which includes 356 vacancies for visually impaired people. There are 852 vacancies in promotion quota, including 149 vacancies for those visually impaired, and the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) has already issued directions to the Delhi government to fill up the vacancies by conducting a special drive.
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“In light of the aforesaid, this court is of the opinion that the vacancies, which are in existence, are required to be filled up as soon as possible and, accordingly, the Chief Secretary, GNCTD, is directed to undertake a special recruitment drive for filling up the back-log of vacancies for the Persons with Disabilities in a time bound manner,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad.
The court asked the SCPD to monitor the special recruitment drive and clarified that once the process is over, the commissioner shall be free to examine the vacancy-wise roster from 33 departments that have reported zero vacancies and address any backlog.
“The SCPD after examination of the said record will again workout backlog of vacancies, if any, and shall be free to direct the concerned departments/ establishments to fill up the backlog of vacancies so worked out by him in the manner and method as directed by him by adhering to the time schedule as framed by this Court,” said the court.
“This Court also makes it very clear that any deviation in the time schedule framed by this Court will invite Contempt of Court proceedings and this Court shall be initiating suo moto contempt proceeding,” it added.
In its order, the court also took on record its appreciation for the “genuine and sincere efforts” of the petitioner’s counsel senior advocate S.K. Rungta, who is himself visually impaired.
It also appreciated the efforts made by Delhi government counsel Avnish Ahlawat for her support and cooperation in resolving the issue.
The petitioner had submitted it filed the present petition in 2017 as in spite of orders being passed by the Supreme Court, the vacancies were not being filled up and reservation was not being provided.