Upholding a Kerala High Court order from last year that granted benefit to a woman, the Supreme Court on Monday, June 28, said that a person with disabilities (PwD) cannot be denied reservation in promotions in government jobs.
The Apex Court reiterated that such a quota in the promotion cannot be denied even if the candidate was not appointed under the disability quota.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy was hearing the Kerala government's appeal challenging the promotion granted to a woman staff in the state police department. The high court had given the promotion orders on March 9, 2020.
After the death of her brother, Leesamma Joseph received a job in state services as a typist through a compassionate appointment in 1996.
It was assessed that she had a 55 per cent overall disability from Post-Polio Residual Paralysis (L) Lower Limb, reported Hindustan Times. But since she had joined through compassionate appointment, she had received the offer through general quota and not under the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995.
Kerala government hence claimed that she is not eligible for disability reservation for promotion in jobs.
Apex Court's Judgement
"We are of the view that the course of action followed by the High Court in the impugned order is salutary and does not call for any interference," said the Top Court, reported Live Law.
It noted that the Kerala government had not followed the judgment given in the Rajeev Kumar Gupta and others versus the Union of India case (2016), and in the Siddaraju versus State of Karnataka case (2020).
In both cases, the Supreme Court had stated that reservation was applicable for persons with disabilities even for government jobs.
It further said that the 1995 Act does not make any distinction between a person who entered the service through a disability quota and someone who might have acquired a disability after getting the job.