The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by the central government seeking to restrict the meaning of appointment in the law on reservation for persons with disabilities to direct recruitment.
The central government was appealing against a Bombay high court ruling in 2013 which had said that under Section 33 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, the word appoint would include promotion and selection, and not just direct recruitment.
A bench of chief justice R.M. Lodha and justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton F. Nariman stated that the definition could not be limited to only refer to direct recruitment. It would amount to “frustrating the reservation policy” without reaching “the very class for which” such reservation was intended, the court said. Appointment under Section 33 “can be by way of direct recruitment, promotion, deputation even!” the chief justice said.
Section 33 of the PWD Act reserves at least 3% seats in “every establishment” for persons suffering from blindness or low vision, hearing impairment and locomotor disability or cerebral palsy.