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VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENT TO APPEAR FOR POST OF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE WITH SCRIBE AND EXTRA TIME

The High Court of Madhya Pradesh (MP), in the case of Rashmi Thakur vs. High Court of MP and ors decided on 03.05.2018, directed that the High Court of MP conduct a special written examination for the post of Judicial Magistrate with the High Court of MP for Ms. Thakur, a visually impaired person. The court also directed that she be provided with an added facility of a scribe as well as extra time to complete the examination.

Ms. Rashmi Thakur, a visually challenged LLB graduate with disability of 75% as declared by the District Medical Board, wished to appear for the examination for the posts of Civil Judge Class-II (Entry Level) conducted by the High Court of MP in 2017 as advertised by the court on 02.08.2017. The advertisement by the court contemplated that 2% posts would be reserved for orthopedically handicapped candidates but failed to mention reservations about any other categories, specifically that of a visually impaired candidate such as Ms. Thakur. Thus, Ms. Thakur submitted a representation to the High Court of MP but it was rejected vide communication dated 02.08.2017. Aggrieved, she filed a writ petition in the High Court of MP.

The court stated that under the order dated 23.11.2012 issued by the Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) a comprehensive list of guidelines for conducting examination for the persons with disabilities included assigning a scribe to any person with disability of 40% or more along with compensatory time for completing their papers. The court observed that none of these guidelines or provisions were provided for Ms. Thakur. The High Court of MP also stated that the reservation of posts by the Government of India by a Notification dated 29.07.2013 provided sufficient guidelines for identifying the posts meant for physically disabled candidates and the post of Judicial Magistrate was one which can be filled by the blind and the low vision candidates. The decision of the High Court not to permit a facility of scribe nor reserve the post for visually handicapped candidate violated the provisions of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (“RPWD”) Act.

Thus, the High Court of MP passed an order on 03.05.2018, directing that since Ms. Thakur was the only visually challenged candidate, she should not be subjected to preliminary examination and a special written examination would be conducted for her within one month from the order with the facility of a scribe and also extra time in terms of the Office Memorandum (O.M), dated 26.02.2013, issued by the Government of India. Additionally, if she qualified the written examination she would be called for an interview and considered for an appointment in accordance with law.

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