Telegraph (PTI); New Delhi; August 16, 2005
The Supreme Court has directed the banking service recruitment board to allow a visually handicapped woman to sit for a Probationary Officers' (P.O.) exam.
Four years ago, Amita had challenged the recruitment board's decision to reject her application on the ground that she was visually impaired.
Justices Y.K. Sabharwal, D.M. Dharmadhikari and Tarun Chatterjee today upheld her claim, saying: "It cannot be doubted that a visually impaired candidate is entitled to sit and write the P.O. examination along with other general candidates, where any post is not earmarked for handicapped persons, as a general candidate."
The Bench said the rejection of her application on the ground that she was visually impaired amounted to "violation of her fundamental right to equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution". This provision guarantees "Equality before law and equal application of law" for all citizens.
The Bench also said "if selected", Amita "could be appointed as a Probationary Officer subject to satisfying other terms and conditions attached to the post".
"If [she] wrote the examination as a reserved candidate competing for a seat reserved for visually impaired, and if she succeeds, then she could be appointed to the post reserved for such handicapped category," the Court said.