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Court judgements: Supreme Court of India.


Dalco Engineering Private Ltd. V. Shree Satish Prabhakar Padhye

AIR 2010 SC 1576

Civil Appeal Nos. 1858 and 1886 of 2007

Decided On:  31.03.2010

Supreme Court of India

Judges: R. V. Raveendran, R. M. Lodha and C. K. Prasad, JJ.

Facts: The appellant is a private limited company incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956. The respondent - S.P. Padhye - was employed as a Telephone Operator by the appellant for more than two decades. The respondent's service was terminated by the appellant with effect from 31.12.2000 on the ground that he had become deaf (85% reduction in ability to hear). The High Court allowed the said writ petition by judgment dated 23.12.2005, and directed the employer to reinstate the respondent and shift him to a suitable post with the same pay-scale and service benefits and with full back-wages. The High Court held that the respondent, though a private limited company, was an "establishment" as defined under Section 2(k) of the Act and consequently Section 47 of the Act enjoined it not to dispense with the services of its employee who acquired a disability. the employer contends that the term `Corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act' refers to a statutory Corporation which is brought into existence by a statute, or under a statute and does not include a company which is registered under the Companies Act.

Held: Under Section 2(k), ‘Corporation’ refers to statutory Corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act’. The word `established’ refers to the entity coming into existence by virtue of an enactment and not merely governed by the Act. A `company’ is neither established under the Companies Act nor does it `owe’ its existence to the Companies Act. Companies Act merely facilitates and lays down the procedure for incorporation of a company which, when incorporated, is to be governed by the provisions of the said Companies Act. Therefore, a company registered under the Companies Act, is not a corporation established under an Act Relief under Section 47 of the Act cannot be extended to the Respondent.

Ratio Decidendi: “Section 47 of the Act apply to Private employers, whether individuals, partnerships, proprietary concerns or companies other than Government companies excluded from the `establishments’.”

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Syed Bashir-ud-din Qadri v. Nazir Ahmed Shah

(2010) 3 SCC 603

Civil Appeal Nos. 2281-2282 of 2010 (Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 10669-70 of 2008)

Decided On: 10.03.2010

Supreme Court of India

Judges: Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph, JJ.

Facts: Appellant disengaged from the post of teacher on ground of physical disability as he was suffering from cerebral palsy. The main question for consideration was whether disengagement of Appellant from the post of teacher on account of his physical disability was justified or not.

Held: Where a person suffering from cerebral palsy is not able to write on a blackboard, an electronic external aid could be provided which could eliminate need for drawing a diagram and the same could be substituted by a picture on a screen, which could be projected with minimum effort. As long as cerebral palsy does not impede the person from discharging his duties efficiently and without causing prejudice to children being taught.

Ratio Decidendi: “Disability not a valid ground to disengage an employee from service until it does not effect the nature of job he is performing.”

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Union of India v. Devendra Kumar Pant

AIR 2010 SC 1253

Civil Appeal No. 4668 of 2007

Decided On: 09.07.2009

Supreme Court of India

Judges: R. V. Raveendran and P. Sathasivam, JJ.

Facts: The first respondent was appointed as a Lab Assistant in the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Ministry of Railways, in the year 1972 and was subsequently promoted as Junior Research Assistant in 1977 and Senior Research Assistant in 1983. The first Respondent (referred to as the 'respondent' as he is the only contesting respondent) was selected for the next higher post of Chief Research Assistant, and by order dated 30.6.1997, he was promoted to the said post with the condition that his promotion will be effective from the date of submission of fit certificate in B-1 medical category. The respondent filed objections contending that as he was already cleared for B2 medical category, it was not necessary for him to secure fitness in the higher medical category of B1. The respondent filed W.P. No. 1800/2005 before the Allahabad High Court, challenging the order of the Tribunal. Before the Court, the respondent raised a new contention based on Section 47(2) of the Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (for short `the Act') which provided that "no promotion shall be denied to a person merely on the ground of his disability".

Held: Prescription of a minimum medical standard for promotion should be considered as such, and should not be viewed as denial of a promotional opportunity to a person with disability. Section 47(2) only provides that a person who is otherwise eligible for promotion shall not be denied promotion merely on the ground that he suffers from disability. In other words promotion shall not be denied to a person on the ground of his disability only if the disability does not affect his capacity to discharge the higher functions of a promotional post.

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Salil Chaturvedi and Prajwala v. Union of India

(2009) 4 SCC 798

Writ Petition (C) Nos. 56 and 576 of 2004 and 212 and 580/2003

Decided On: 04.03.2009

Judges: K. G. Balakrishnan, CJ., P. Sathasivam and J. M. Panchal, JJ.

Facts: The petitioner under Public Interest Litigation filed this petition alleging that despite the commencement of this Act No. 1 of 1996, many of the State Governments or the local authorities in the various States have not fully implemented Section 43 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. Section 43 of the Act provides that the appropriate Government and local authorities shall be notification frame schemes in favour of persons with disabilities, for the preferential allotment of land at concessional rates for housing, setting up business, setting up of special recreation centres, establishment of special schools, etc. The State Governments filed counter affidavit and also indicated various steps taken by the respective Government to implement Section 43 of the Act. Some of the States candidly admitted that they have not implemented Section 43 of the Act. No State came forward with specific plea that schemes have been formulated either by the State or by the local authorities and percentage of reservation has already been made in favour of the disabled persons.

Held: The court directed that whenever the State Governments or local authorities allot land for various purposes indicated in Section 43 of the Act and various items indicated in Section 43, preferential treatment be given to the disabled persons and the land shall be given at concessional rate. The percentage of reservation may be left to the discretion of the State Governments/local authorities. However, total percentage of disabled persons shall be taken into account while deciding the percentage.

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Bhagwan Dass v. Punjab State Electricity Board

AIR 2008 SC 990

Civil Appeal No. 8 of 2008 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 26357/2005)

Decided On:  04.01.2008

Supreme Court of India

Judges: G. P. Mathur and Aftab Alam, JJ.

Facts:  Appellant became  blind while in service and remained absent from duty for three years without any sanctioned leave. He made representation to the Board for retirement and requested to appoint his wife in his place. As a result, he was relieved from the service. Subsequently, the appellant filed an affidavit before the board and pleaded that he had no knowledge of Rules of the Electricity Board and represented for retirement unknowingly. Respondent contended that Appellant himself wanted to retire from service therefore Section 47 of the Act was not applicable

Held: In the letter for Retirement Appellant requested to be retired but at the same time also requested that his wife should be given a suitable job. The Letter is  not a voluntary offer for retirement. It was the duty of the superior officers to explain to him the correct legal position and to tell him about his legal rights. Action of the concerned officers was depreciable. Therefore, the termination was bad and illegal and the appellant was entitled to all service benefits.

Ratio Decidendi: Denial of a disabled persons rights would not only be unjust and unfair to them and their families but would create larger and graver problems for the society at large; what the law permits to them is no charity or largess but their right as equal citizens of the country.

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Amita v. Union of India

(2005) 13 SCC 721

Writ Petition (C) No. 31/2000

Decided On: 11.08.2005

Supreme Court of India

Judges: Y. K. Sabharwal, D. M. Dharmadhikari and Tarun Chatterjee, JJ.

Facts: Pursuant to an advertisement issued at the instance of the Banking Services Recruitment Board, Channai in the Employment Newspaper, inviting applications for the post of Probationary Officers in Indian Overseas Banks. The requisite qualifications for eligibility were:

a.)    A degree from a recognized University or any qualification recognized as equivalent by the Government of India.

b.)     Not below 21 years and above 30 years.

The writ petitioner applied for the post. Also she fulfilled the above two requirements. While filling up the said application form, the writ petitioner mentioned that she was a blind candidate so that the board could make adequate arrangements of a scribe for her during the entrance test as is normally done. Unfortunately, the application of the writ petitioner for writing the examination, as stated above, was returned with the order saying: “As we do not recruit blind candidates for the post of Probationary Officers, your application is rejected.”

Held: In the facts and circumstance of this case, Art. 14 as infringed for denial of permission to the petitioner to sit and write the examination for selection of Probationary Officers. Also, there is violation of the right of the writ petitioner under Art. 16 which provides for general rule, that there should be equal opportunity for citizens in matters relating to "employment" or "appointment to any office" under the State, matters incidental to employment both prior and subsequent to the employments which form part of the terms and conditions of such employment.

Accordingly, the writ petition was disposed of by the court in the following manner:

1.)    If the writ petitioner chooses to appear as a general candidate to sit and write any forthcoming examination as a Probationary Officer of the Bank, she will be entitled to do so.

2.)     If selected, she may be appointed as Probationary Officer subject to her satisfying the other terms and conditions for appointment in the said post.

3.)    If the writ petitioner write the examination as a reserved candidate that is to say on the visually impaired seat, if there be any, and she succeeds in the said examination, she can be appointed on such reserved category in the event percentage of Probationary Officer’s post is kept reserved for visually impaired candidate by the respondents.

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All Kerala Parents Association v. State of Kerala

2003 (2) WLN 692

Decided On: 11.09.2002

Supreme Court of India

Judges: G. B. Pattanaik and Ruma Pal, JJ.

Facts: Petition filed on the ground that under Section 39 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities Protection of Rights & Full Participation) Act, 1995 the Govt. educational institution as well as institution receiving aid from the Govt. should reserve 3% of seats for persons with disabilities.

Held: The Court held that Section 39 dealt with the reservation of seats for persons with disabilities in Government educational institutions as well as educational institutions receiving aid from the Government and not with reservation in Government employment as held by the High Court.

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Anand Bihari and Others versus Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation and Another

(1991) 1 SCC 731
Civil Appeals Nos. 1859-63 of 1990
Decided On: 20.12.1990
Supreme Court of India
Judges: P.B. Sawant and S.C. Agrawal, JJ.

Facts: The petitioners were employees of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation. They were appointed as drivers to drive the roadways buses in the region of Ajmer, Jaipur and Bharatpur. They had put in a long service discharging their duties to the satisfaction of the corporation. Sometime in 1987, their routine medical examination showed that they had developed defective eyesight and did not have the required vision for driving heavy motor vehicles such as buses for which the corporation had engaged them. The corporation issued notices to the workmen to show-cause as to why their services should not be terminated since they were found unfit for driving its buses. The workmen submitted their explanations in which they asked for conducting a second test of their eyesight. They also prayed that in case they were found unfit for driving the buses, they should be given some other job in the corporation. The corporation after considering the explanation of the workmen came to the decision that since the workmen’s eyesight was not of the standard required to drive the buses, they could not be retained in service, and terminated their services. The orders of termination of services were challenged by the workmen by filing individual writ petitions.

Held: The Supreme Court held that the corporation should give each of the retired workmen their retirement benefits, and in addition offer them any available alternative job, which they are eligible to perform. It was further stated that in case no such alternative job was available, each of the workmen should be paid an additional compensatory amount along with their retirement benefits. If the alternative job became available at a later date, the corporation may offer it to the workmen provided they refund the proportionate, compensatory amount. The choice to accept one of the two relief options, if the corporation offered an alternative job, would be of the workmen’s.

This judgment was noteworthy for two reasons; one that the concept of alternative appointment and reasonable accommodation was evident in the mood of the Apex Court. Second, that while it preceded the Disabilities Act by five years, it reflects the true spirit of Constitutional rights and guarantees the advancement of existing legal provisions.


Disabled Rights Group V. Chief Election Commissioner and Another

Record Proceedings
Writ Petition (civil) No. 187/2004
Decided on: 19/04/2004
Supreme Court of India
Judge: S.B.Sinha

Fact: The disabled group had written a letter to Supreme Court of India stating the need of making the polling booths in India disable friendly. They demanded the necessity of wooden ramps in polling booths.

Held: The Supreme Court treated this letter as public interest litigation and made judgements accordingly. The court directed the chief secretaries of the respective states to ensure in coordination with the Chief Election officers to provide wooden ramps made available at polling stations to enable the disabled persons to easily reach to caste their votes for the elections held on 26th April, 2004.

Daya Ram Tripathi versus State of Uttar Pradesh and Another

1986 (Supp) SCC 497
Civil Appeal No. 4460 of 1986
Decided On: 12.12.1986
Supreme Court of India
Judges: O. Chinnappa Reddy and V. Khalid, JJ

Facts: The appellant had an orthopaedic problem. He suffered from a permanent impediment of the left leg, the result of an old compound fracture. His impediment did not prevent him from good academic performance. He went further. He appeared at the combined State Services Examination held in February 1982 by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission. According to the advertisement issued by the commission, one post in the Provincial Civil Service (Executive Branch) was reserved for handicapped persons. However, the appellant was offered the post of Manager, Marketing and Economic Survey instead of a post in the Provincial Civil Service (Executive Branch). This was said to have been done on the ground that the reservation of two per cent in the Uttar Pradesh Civil Services for handicapped persons had been revoked by the State Government by their letter dated March 1, 1979 in regard to the Provincial Civil Service (Executive Branch). There upon the appellant filed a writ petition.

Held: The Supreme Court stated that ’physical disability should not be of the nature which may cause interference in discharge of duties and obligations attached to the concerned service.’ The Court held, however, that the State was not entitled to withdraw the reservation requirement after initially reserving posts for persons with disabilities. The appellant was awarded service benefits and costs.


Godawari Bai versus Delhi Development Authority

1990 (Supp.) SCC 124
Special Leave Petition No. 7836 of 1989
Decided On: 16.11.1989
Supreme Court of India
Judges: K. Ramaswamy, P.B. Sawant and Ranganath Misra, JJ.

Facts: The petitioner (a blind lady) had applied to the Delhi Development Authority (D.D.A.) for the allotment of a flat. D.D.A. has five types of accommodations under its different schemes. There was considerable amount of dispute as to whether the petitioner applied for a Janta Flat, an M.I.G. (middle income group) Flat or L.I.G. (lower income group) Flat. The correspondence exchanged between her and the authorities of the D.D.A. indicated reference to different types of flats at different times. The petitioner was present in the court in person and her advocate stated on instruction that the petitioner would be prepared to take one M.I.G. Flat on payment of the requisite money, as was required under the scheme of the D.D.A. The counter-affidavit of the D.D.A. indicated that there was scope for handicapped persons to be treated on out of turn basis for allotment of a flat of any category.

Held: The Supreme Court directed the D.D.A. to allot on out of turn basis an M.I.G. Flat to the petitioner. The court also held that the allotment should be made within three months of the deposit and preference should be given to the petitioner in respect of the South Delhi accommodation on the ground floor if possible.

Indian Council of Legal Aid and Advice versus Union of India

(2000) 10 SCC 542
SLP (C) No. 20821 of 1997
Decided On: 08.09.1998
Supreme Court of India
Judges: A.S. Anand and V.N. Khare, JJ.

Facts: The petitioner filed a writ petition on the basis of certain newspapers. The issue involved in this special leave petition is of great public importance. It concerned the medical check-up and treatment of visually impaired people. Articles 21 and 41 cast a duty on the State to make provisions for treating and preventing disability, within its economic capacity, so that a disabled person may be able to lead a normal life.

Held: The Union of India formulated a scheme for periodical check-ups and treatment of visually impaired persons admitted to blind schools run by Delhi Administration or voluntary organisations for education/ rehabilitation of visually impaired persons. Supreme Court opined that the said scheme deserved to be adopted by all States and the Union Territories in the whole country so that assistance in the shape of medical check-up and treatment was available to visually-impaired people. It would also ensure that none of visually-impaired person’s are denied corrective surgery. The Supreme Court thus issued notices to the health secretaries of all the states and union territories to show-cause why the scheme should not be implemented.


Jaswant Singh And Another V. State Of Punjab

(1996) 10 SCC 570
Civil Appeal no. 12832-33/1996
Decided on: 23.09.1996
Supreme Court of India
Judge: K.Ramaswamy, J

Fact: The appellants were drivers. While in service, they became blind and therefore sought alternative appointment. But the Corporation removed them from the service. They prayed for mercy in the Supreme Court of India.

Held: Supreme Court faced a similar controversy in the ‘Anand Bihari v. Rajasthan SRTC’ case. Based on this judgement the court directed the Corporation as follows:
i) In addition to give each of the retired workmen his retired benefits, offer any other alternative job which may be available and eligible to perform by them.
ii) In case no such alternative job is available, each of the workmen shall be paid along with his retired benefits, an additional compensatory amount as follows:

a) where the employee has put in 5 years or less than 5 years service, the amount of compensation shall be equivalent to 7 days salary per year of the balance of his service;
b) where the employee has put in more than 5 years’ but less than 10 years’ service, the amount of compensation shall be equivalent to 15 days’ salary per year of the balance of his service;
c) where the employee has put in more than 10 years but less than 15 years service, the amount of compensation shall be equivalent to 21 days salary per year of the balance of his service;
d) where the employee has put in more than 15 years service but less than 20 years service, the amount of compensation shall be equivalent to one month’s salary per year of the balance of his service;
e) where the employee has put in more than 20 years’ service, the amount of compensation shall be equivalent to two months’ salary per year of the balance of his service.
The salary will mean the total monthly emoluments that the workman was drawing on the date of his retirement.

iii) If the alternative job is not available immediately but becomes available at a later date, the Corporation may offer it to the workman provided he refunds the proportionate compensatory amount.

iv) The option to accept either of the two reliefs, if an alternative job is offered by the Corporation, shall be that of the workman.


Jai Shankar Prasad V. State Of Bihar

(1993) 2 SCC 597
Civil Appeal No. 1359/1993
Decided on: 19.03.1993
Supreme Court of India
Judge: P.B.Sawant, J

Fact: Jai Shankar Prasad challenged the appointment of Dr.Shiva Jatan Thakur, a completely blind person as a member of Bihar State Public Service Commission by filing a Public Interest Litigation under Article 226 of the constitution of India before the High Court of Patna. The major attack against this appointment was that the respondent was totally blind prior to his appointment date and was unfit on the basis of physical infirmity. His attack was strengthened by clause (3) of Article 317 of the Constitution providing the removal of a member of Public Service Commission on the ground unfit to continue in the office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.

Held: Infirmity of mind or body mentioned in the Article 317 of the Constitution means an infirmity which disables a member from discharging his functions effectively. It does not mean infirmity of body or every loss of use of any limb. The respondent was completely blind since his childhood. This physical infirmity did not affect his effective discharge of duties prior to this appointment. The respondent possesses high academic qualifications. His prior appointment was as a University Professor. Besides this, the ‘Padmashree’ has been awarded on the recommendations of state government for his effective discharge of duties. He has been considered to the post as a member of the State Public Service Commission because of these qualifications. Therefore the appeal was dismissed and the appellant was advised to pay the cost of this appeal to the respondent as well as to the state.

Javed Abidi V. Union Of India

(1999) 1 SCC 467
Writ Petition © no. 326/1997
Decided on: 17.12.1998
Supreme Court of India
Judge: G.B.Pattanaik, J

Fact: Javed Abidi, filed a petition for the effective implementation of provisions of Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. Concessions in air fares were not granted for orthopaedically handicapped persons, while it was allowed to blind people. Both are disabled persons under the Act. This amounted to discrimination between two classes of disabled persons. He prayed for the concession of Indian Airlines travel by air as well as provision for providing ambulift and aisle chairs in air ports to Orthopaedically handicapped persons.

Held: Orthopaedically handicapped persons suffering from locomotor disability to the extent of 80 per cent or above fall under the provisions of 'Persons With Disabilities Act, 1995’. Allowing concessional air travel for blind persons but not for orthopaedically handicapped persons amounts to discrimination. Persons suffering from locomotor disability find it equally difficult to travel long distances. There is no justification for the airlines not to grant concessions to persons with locomotor disability when concession is made available to the blind people. So concession should be granted to the aforesaid on issue of a certificate from the Chief District Medical Officer to the effect that concerned person is suffering from a disability to the extent of 80 per cent.


Kunal Singh V. Union Of India And Another

(2003) 4 SCC 524
Civil Appeal No. 1789/2000
Decided on: 13.02.2003
Supreme Court of India
Judge: Shivaraj V. Patil

Fact: The appellant was a constable in the Special Service Bureau. When he was on duty, he suffered an injury in his left leg which led to amputation of his leg. The medical Board’s report declared him to be permanently incapacitated for service. His service was terminated. He filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the termination order and claiming that he should have assigned with alternative duty which he could discharge keeping in view the extent of his disability. The High Court dismissed the writ petition. He filed the instant appeal referring to Section 47 and few relevant definitions of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. On the other hand, supporting the impugned order, the respondent Government referred to Rule 38 of the CCS (pension) Rules, 1972 under which the appellant was granted invalidity pension.

Held: An employee who acquires disability during his service is sought to be protected under Section 47 of the PWD Act. Such employee acquiring disability, if not protected, would not only suffer himself, but possibly all those who depend on him would also suffer. The very frame and contents of Section 47 clearly indicate its mandatory nature. In construing a provision of a social beneficial enactment that too dealing with disabled persons intended to give them equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation, the view that advances the object of the Act and serves its purpose of the Act. The language of Section 47 is plain and certain casting statutory obligation on the employer to protect an employee acquiring disability during service. Merely because under Rule 38 of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, the appellant got invalid pension is no ground to deny the protection mandatory made available to the appellant under Section 47 of the Act. The court directed the respondents to give relief in terms of Section 47 of the Act.

National Federation Of Blind V. Union Public Service Commission And Others

(1993) 2 SCC 411
Writ Petition © no. 655/1991
Decided on: 23.03.1993
Supreme Court of India
Judge: Kuldip Singh, J

Fact: National Federation of Blind, a representative body of visually handicapped persons in India filed a writ petition (under Article 32 of the Constitution) in the Supreme Court of India to direct the Union of India and Union Public Service Commission to allow eligible blind candidates to compete and write Civil Services Examination in Braille-script or with the help of scribe.

Held: Govt. of India have already identified 416 categories of Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ posts which are suitable for physically handicapped persons (1986). But so far the decisions taken have not been implemented. As Govt. of India already identified that some of the posts of the Indian Administrative and other allied services can be filled by visually handicapped persons, there is no reason for the denial of visually handicapped students to sit and write the Civil Service Examination. So the Court directed the Union Public Service Commission to permit the visually impaired students to write the examination in Braille-script or with the help of a Scribe. But if a hierarchy of promotion posts is found by the Govt. that a particular post is not suited for visually handicapped person, he shall not have any right to claim for such a particular post.


Nandakumar Narayanrao Ghodmare V. State Of Maharashtra And Others

(1995) 6 SCC 720
Appeal No. 9856/1995
Decide on: 30.10.1995
Supreme Court of India
Judge: K.Ramaswamy, J

Fact: Nandkumar Narayanrao has been selected by the Public Service Commission to the post of agricultural officer of class II service. But the Commission denied his appointment because of he was colour blind. He challenged the Government order by appealing at the Supreme Court under the service law rules.

Held: Out of the total 35 post in the Agricultural Department only 5 posts require perfect vision without colour blindness. For the other 30 posts colour blindness was not an impediment for the appointment of the candidate. Therefore the court ordered consideration of the appellant for appointment to any of these 30 posts of Agricultural Officer of Class II service within two months of this order.

Pratul Kumar Sinha V. State Of Orissa

(1989) supp 2 SCC 426
Writ Petition (civil) no. 185/1989
Decided on: 12.05.1989
Supreme Court of India
Judge: Ranganath Misra, J

Fact: Pratul Kumar Sinha sent a written letter to the Supreme Court of India enclosing a newspaper report from ‘Amrit Bazar’ alleging the sexual exploitation of blind girl students in a school located at Berhampur in Orissa. The court registered this letter as a writ petition under article 32 of constitution and issued an order directing the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Berhampur to enquire and submit report regarding the allegations stated against the Red Cross Blind School, Berhampur, Orissa.

Held: Chief Judicial Magistrate reported suspicious cases of sexual exploitation in the school. However, the court did not propose to enquire further into the matter based on the newspaper report. It ordered certain directions for proper management of the school.

Sohan Singh V. State Of U.P

(1987) Supp. SCC 169
Criminal Appeal no. 392/1976
Decided on: 10.02.1987
Supreme Court of India
Judge: V.Khalid, J

Fact: Sohan Singh, the accused appellant facing a criminal trial produced a medical certificate issued by medical officer of district jail, Moradabad. The certificate claimed that the appellant was totally blind and also had some infirmity in his left lower limb. On the basis of his disability he pleaded for reduction of his jail sentence.

Held: The court noticed the fact that question of sentence deserve consideration in light of physical condition. The appellant is totally blind and his movement in the jail is impossible without support from outside. In these circumstances court was of the opinion that no purpose would be served by continuing the sentence. The court modified the sentence passed and directed the sentence already undergone by the appellant will in peculiar facts and circumstances meet the ends of justice.


State Of Haryana And Others V. Surjeet Singh

(1996) 5 SCC 478
Civil Appeal no. 9509/1996
Decided on: 09.07.1996
Supreme Court of India
Judge: K. Ramaswamy, J

Fact: Surjeet Singh was driver of a heavy vehicle under Haryana State Board. During the medical examination he found to have suffering from low vision in his sight. He could not perform the duties of a heavy vehicle driver due to his disability and was compulsorily retired from the service. He made an application for the appointment of his son as a clerk on compassionate basis. But Govt. rejected his application on the basis that he was neither blind nor totally invalid at the time of his retirement. He approached Haryana High Court and got a favourable order for appointment of his son on compassionate basis. State of Haryana filed an appeal in Supreme Court of India against this appointment (article 136 of constitution of India).

Held: Haryana Government on compassionate basis directs to appoint the kin of an employee who become blind and compulsorily retired from service (service law). In this case he was neither blind nor totally invalid. Doctors found his vision of sight was poor but not blind or totally invalid. Supreme Court found the decisions taken by High Court is not correct in law but declined to interfere with the judgement passed by the High Court.

U. P. State Road Transport Corporation And Another V. Mohd. Ismail And Others

(1991) 3 SCC 239
Civil Appeal no. 1756-59/1991
Decided on: 11.04.1991
Supreme Court of India
Judge: K.Jagannatha Shetty, J

Fact: Mohd. Ismail and others were serving as drivers in U.P State Road Transport Corporation. They failed in vision test and the Corporation discharged them with retrenchment compensation. According to the U.P State Road Transport Corporation regulations, a person appointed to the post of driver should undergo vision test every year (regulation 17(2)). The service of a person who fails at the vision test is dispensed in the discretion of the Corporation, be offered an alternative job or not (regulation 17(3)). The court cannot command to exercise discretion in a particular manner in favour of a particular person and so it is beyond the jurisdiction of the court. The respondents challenged the retrenchment by written petition to Allahabad High Court. The High Court accepted their petitions and directed the Corporation to offer alternative jobs to the respondents. The Corporation Appealed in the Supreme Court of India against this High Court order.

Held: Before exercising the discretion regarding the offering of an alternative job to those who fails in vision test, the corporation should keep two aspects in mind. First, it should offer efficient and effective public service within the resource use and allocation. The purpose of discretionary decision-making under regulation 17(3) was to rehabitate drivers to the extent possible within the constraints. The discretion should not be exercised accordingly whim, caprise or ritual. It should be exercised faithfully and impartially. The court has given powers to the corporation to exercise its decisions accordingly and directed the corporation to consider the cases with a sympathetic outlook to the disabled workers.

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