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D.o.P.T. claims extra attempts for disabled candidates will amount to unfair advantage

D.N.I.S. News Network- In the ongoing hearing on a Public Interest Litigation in Delhi High Court seeking an extension in the number of attempts allowed to disabled candidates, on the lines of norms for other reserved categories appearing for Civil Services Examination, the Department of Personnel and Training (D.o.P.T.) has filed an affidavit claiming that such a provision will provide an unfair advantage to disabled candidates over other candidates.

The affidavit has further alleged that the appeal by petitioner Sunil Kumar does not pertain to any issue related to the violation of fundamental rights, but to an individual or vested interest.

The text of the affidavit contradicts the above argument of the Department of Personnel and Training. Though it concedes that like other disadvantaged social sections, disabled people have great difficulty in pursuing their education and yet questions the petition saying that the extension would give an unfair advantage to disabled students vis-ŕ-vis other aspirants.

The counsel appearing on behalf of the Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities, U. L. Vadhwani, has so far not submitted an affidavit to the Hon’ble Court and asked for more time on the last hearing on 10 March 2006.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had issued notices to the Centre and Union Public Service Commission (U.P.S.C.) on a petition seeking a stay on the May 2006 Civil Services Examination Preliminary until the norms for disabled candidates were brought at par with other reserved categories.

The petitioner, an orthopaedically disabled aspirant, through his counsel Kamal Mehta had urged the Court to grant a minimum of 10 attempts for disabled people at par with other reserved category candidates.

National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People’s Executive Director Javed Abidi had written to the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Suresh Pachouri, highlighting this discriminatory norm stating that while candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (S.C.) and Scheduled Tribes (S.T.) have unlimited number of attempts till the age of 35; Other Backward Castes (O.B.C.) candidates have seven attempts till the age of 33; disabled candidates despite 10 years of age relaxation are not allowed more than four attempts.

The next hearing of the case is scheduled on 4 April 2006.