The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that from the vacancy positions recived for IPS and other police services, a total of 251 seats have been excluded from the ambit of reservation meant for persons with benchmark disability for the Civil Services Examination, 2020.
The development came after the Union of India filed an affidavit in two pleas filed by disability rights organizations being aggrieved by the non reservation of seats for virtually impaired and persons with multiple disabilities thereby going against the mandate of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act of 2016.
The affidavit has been filed by the Centre through Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training.
"That out of 24 participating Services, who had intimated the vacancies to DoPT for the CSE-2020, the CCAs of certain Services like IPS (number of vacancies=200), DANIPS (number of vacancies=31), RPF (number of vacancies=20) and PONDIPS (number of vacancies=0) informed that vacancies were not reserved for PwBD category candidates in all categories of posts under these Services, as per functional requirements of the respective Services," the affidavit reads.
"That from the vacancy positions received for IPS, RPF, DANIPS and PONDIPS for the CSE-2020, as mentioned in para-4 above, a total of 251 seats have been excluded from the ambit of reservation meant for PWBD."
The Centre has also submitted that there has been no departure from the existing practice indicating the vacancy position in the notice for Civil Services Examination, 2020 and that the same suffers from no irregularity.
Moved by Sambhavana Society and Evara Foundation, the petitions claimed that that not enough seats were reserved for those with visual and multiple disabilities in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016.
Earlier, the Court had expressed displeasure over failure of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to file its response in the plea on the ground that it neglects the minimum reservation to be provided to disabled persons.
Advocates Pankaj Sinha and DK Mahajan for the Petitioners claimed that the total vacancies in 2020 were 796 and ideally 4% reservation (culminating into 32 seats) was to be given under the RPWD Act. However, only 24 seats allocated to the category.
The Centre had on the other hand informed the Court that as per Cadre Controlling Authorities of four services- IPS, RPF, DANIPS and PONDIPS- the vacancies in their Services cannot be reserved for the persons with benchmark disabilities under Section 34(1) of RPWD Act.
Accordingly, Standing counsel Manish Mohan claimed that the vacancy was finally notified for 836 seats. Out of these, no reservation can be given for 251 seats. Thus, the 4% quota was calculated on the remaining 585 seats which turns out to be 24; whereas reservation was granted on 25 seats.
Responding to this, the Petitioners had contend that none of the four Services enjoy exemption under the second Proviso to Section 34(1) of the Act and were thus obliged to reserve vacancies in favour of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities in accordance with the mandate.
Previously, the Court had thus asked DoPT to clarify the seat allocation. However, the affidavit was not filed and interview process commenced on August 2.
"Statutory reservation is there. As far as possible, it should be in favour of those persons. Rule is reservation; exemption is exception," the Bench had remarked.
It also told the Government that "functional classification" is necessary for conducting interviews and orally suggested that the results may be kept in a "sealed cover" till final outcome of the case.
Case Title: Sambhava v. UOI