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Supreme Court Clears 3 per cent Quotas for Disabled
Sep 15, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of 3 per cent reservation for differently-abled candidates in civil services, not only at the stage of their appointments but also for departmental promotions. Giving a level-playing field to more than four crore people with disabilities in India, the apex court held that the Centre, states and Union Territories were obligated to implement the rules of reservation for this class in the matters of appointment, selection, direct recruitment, deputation and also for promotions. It asked the Centre to show a big heart and give the differently-abled people their due in all central and state government jobs. 

A bench led by Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha reiterated its earlier verdict that the principle of not exceeding 50 per cent reservation would not be applicable while granting quota for differently-abled people.  The bench expressed its displeasure at the government seeking to adopt a hyper-technical approach, as its counsel pressed that 3 per cent reservation could be given only at the stage of appointment but not for promotion. The Persons With Disabilities Act provides for 3 per cent quota for the differently-abled people.


The bench said, that the objective of the reservation policy, as envisaged by Parliament, was unequivocal that the differently-abled people must get the benefits without technical impediments. Once Parliament prescribes for reservation in appointments, it will cover direct recruitment, promotion and even deputation. Our experience tells us that it is one legislation that has never been effectively implemented. In any case, it is a beneficial legislation and you should interpret in a manner so that they get the benefits.


The three per cent reservation, as clarified by the apex court in its last year’s judgment, is to the extent of 1 per cent each for the blind, hearing and speech impaired, and persons suffering from locomotor disability or cerebral palsy.


The Supreme Court had in October last year ruled in favour of a minimum three per cent reservation for them in all central and state government jobs. Regretting the denial of opportunities to the differently-abled people in the country, the court had quashed the Centre’s 2005 office memorandum and the government’s claim that the reservation policy not only had to be different for Group A, B C and D posts but the quota had to confine to identified post.


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