THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Persons With Disabilities (PwDs). Raising hopes, the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) has ordered the government to provisionally report three vacancies for the post of Deputy Collectors.
While the insensitive government departments and the Public Service Commission continue to play hide-and-seek on the issue of implementing the three percent job quota for PwDs, the KAT order has strengthened the historic fight of the physically handicapped (PH) candidates.
Issuing the order on an ‘Original Application’ by K Ajesh - a blind candidate in the Deputy Collector’s rank list, Tribunal member V Rajendran directed the government to report the vacancies before June 20.
Rejecting the government pleader’s submission there is no vacancy of Deputy Collector at present for reporting to the PSC, the Tribunal said Ajesh’s counsel submitted the information obtained under RTI Act that three vacancies did exist. The KAT also noted the existing rank list will expire on June 30.
“In such circumstances, there will be a direction to report three vacancies of Deputy Collector’s to the PSC provisionally. Such reporting shall be made on or before 20 June, 2017,” the order said.
However, the Tribunal told the PSC advice to these vacancies need be made only after further orders from the former. As the Revenue Department had lied to the Tribunal, refuting the presence of any vacancy, it asked the department to file an additional statement regarding the vacancy position and the steps for filling up the same in accordance with the Government Order (No.8/17/SJD) dated May 6, 2017.
Despite Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan taking an earnest effort to implement the three per cent quota and the roster system of 1, 34, 67 and clear the backlog from 1996, the Social Justice Department - which issued the GO - further delayed reporting the same to the PSC for a month.
A top PSC officer told Express, on condition of anonymity, he had not received any information regarding the change in the roster system and filling of backlog. “PSC received the official communication from SJD this Monday,” he said.
“We can implement the order only if the government officially reports it to PSC. Still, there is confusion. The government order says it will issue further guidelines for clearing the backlog. Till we receive such guidelines, there will be confusion whether we should advise from the general posts or by creating supernumerary posts.”
A candidate in the PSC rank list said: “The Revenue officers are lying there is no vacancy even when seven Deputy Collectors, promoted to that post, retired on May 31. They aren’t afraid of even the Chief Minister.”