NEW DELHI: In rare appreciation, the Supreme Court on Tuesday welcomed the steps taken by the government in filling up vacancies meant for differently-abled persons and disposed of a contempt plea alleging “wilful disobedience” of an order to provide 3% quota to such persons.
“We have considered rival submissions. In view of the compilation filed by the Solicitor General, it seems that there is an unequivocal and unambiguous commitment by the Union of India to fill up the posts,” a Bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N V Ramana said.
“We cannot hold that there is wilful disobedience of the order of this court,” it said, adding that Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar have told the court that the process of filling up of over 15,000 vacancies has begun and would conclude by February.
The Bench, while disposing of the plea of National Federation of the Blind NGO, said filling up so many posts was a “large-scale process to which the Union stands committed” and termed the exercise a “positive step”. The court’s order came on the plea which sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and its Secretary for not complying with an earlier order of providing three per cent quota in jobs to differently-abled persons.
During the hearing, the SG said quota is not permissible in the case of promotions and it has to be given “in fresh appointments” only.
The court had on January 12 asked the DoPT to reply to the NGO’s fresh plea seeking contempt action for not complying with its earlier order on providing three per cent quota in jobs to differently-abled persons.
Senior counsel S K Rungta, appearing for the NGO, had said the Secretary, DoPT, had committed contempt by not amending the government’s office memorandum as per the earlier directions of the apex court in this regard.