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IDENTIFICATION OF POSTS NOT A PREREQUISITE FOR PROVIDING RESERVATIONS IN GOVERNMENT JOBS

The Supreme Court, in the case of Government of India Th: Secy. and anr. Vs. Ravi Prakash Gupta and anr. decided on 07.07.2010 made an interpretation of section 32 and 33 of the Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and full participation) (“PWD”) Act, 1995 dealing with identification of posts and reservation of seats in government jobs for disabled respectively. The Court opined that though it is true that no appointments from the reserved categories can be made unless posts are identified by appropriate government yet reservation to disabled is available in spite of posts not being identified by the government.-.

Ravi Prakash Gupta, a visually challenged person had appeared for the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission UPSC and was declared successful. However, he was not given an appointment even though he was at Sl. No. 5 in the merit list of visually impaired candidates. Ravi Prakash Gupta first approached the Central Administrative Tribunal which refused his application and hence he approached the Delhi High Court. The high court observed that a clear vacancy was available to which Ravi Prakash Gupta could be accommodated on the basis of his position in the merit list, and hence an appropriate appointment letter be issued in order to appoint him to one of the reserved posts. This decision was challenged by Government of India before the Supreme Court.

While delivering its judgement, the Supreme Court stated that it is only logical that, as provided in section 32 of the PWD Act, posts have to be identified for providing reservation for the purposes of section 33-, but such identification was meant to be simultaneously undertaken with the coming into operation of the PWD Act, to give effect to the provisions of section 33. The legislature never intended the provisions of section 32 of the PWD Act to be used as a tool to deny the benefits of section 33 to the disabled persons. The Supreme Court thus upheld the judgement of High Court and declared that the judgement of the High Court required no interference.

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