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Kerala's Policy for People with Disabilities Still on Paper

Published: 04th March 2016 03:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2016 03:11 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Social Welfare Department, which released Kerala State Policy for People with Disability (PWD) on September 29, 2015, is yet to be implemented as the authorities concerned seem to be apathetic towards it.

The Order released as an Extraordinary Gazette  signed by Governor P Sadasivam has not been implemented although it was sent to the Law Department, all department heads, district collectors and the PSC.

In the state policy for PWD, a strategy to ensure and enforce appropriate implementation of reservation for employment of PWD as mandated by PWD Act of 1995 and relevant laws of the land was highlighted.

The PWD Act of 1995 orders the implementation of not less than 3 per cent reservation for the disabled from 1996. The relevant laws of the land  also mandated the governments to implement 1,34 and 67 roster point reservation considering PH back logs effective from 1996. But the PSC has not been advising candidates as the Social Justice Department has not effected the change as required by the policy. ‘Express’ had reported about IITian K Madhu’s  fight for justice when he was denied a place in the PSC rank list for the post of deputy collector. He holds the first rank among PWD candidates. After his relentless fight, the PSC included him in the list.

But the PSC officials cite anomalies in the roster point system for not advising him for appointment in spite of the Supreme Court ruling that the roster system should be in the order of 1,34 and 67. The State PSC follows the roster of 33, 66 and 99.

When Madhu sought the Prime Minister’s intervention in the issue, the PSC had to  write to the Social Welfare Department to make the amendments concerned to enable it to act on the basis of the Supreme Court verdict and on the basis of an office memorandum (OM) of the Government of India.

However, some middle level officials with the Social Justice Department and Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department are misinterpreting the OM and even the Supreme Court verdict on the PWD candidates’ reservation.

“The verdict issued by a Division Bench of the Supreme Court has clearly stated that in case of non-availability of a suitable person with disability or for any other sufficient reason, such vacancy should be carried forward in the succeeding recruitment year. If a suitable person with disability is not available in the succeeding recruitment year, it may be filled by interchange among the three categories among the PWD,” Madhu pointed out.

The Division Bench headed by then CJI P Sathasivam was of the view that the computation of reservation for persons with disabilities in case of Group A, B, C and D posts should be done in an identical manner viz “computing 3 per cent reservation on total number of vacancies in the cadre strength which is the intention of the legislature,” the Supreme Court verdict stated.



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