The Supreme Court on Monday, ruled that reservation for Persons with Disabilities (PwD) is applicable to promotions, and reserved promotions for PwD induviduals can take place even if they are not appointed under PwD quota. The ruling was done by a Division Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy. It was based on an appeal filed by the Kerala Govt. to the SC, which was against the Kerala HC order that allowed for promotion of a disabled woman, Leesamma Joseph, via reservation, even if her initial appointment was not under PwD quota. The SC dismissed the appeal.
Ms. Joseph was employed in the Police department on “compassionate grounds” after her brother’s death in harness. Justice Kaul stated how intiial appointment shouldn’t be the criteria, as the person could have acquired a disability after having entered the service. “The 1995 Act [Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995] does not make a distinction between a person who may have entered service on account of disability and a person who may have acquired disability after having entered the service. Similarly, the same position would be with the person who may have entered service on a claim of a compassionate appointment. The mode of entry in service cannot be a ground to make out a case of discriminatory promotion,” Justice Kaul wrote.
The Court stated that the “source of recruitment” shouldn’t make a difference. All that matters is that the employee is PwD at the time of considering promotion.
“It would be discriminatory and violative of the mandate of the Constitution of India if the respondent is not considered for promotion in the PwD quota on this pretext. Once the respondent has been appointed, she is to be identically placed as others in the PwD cadre,” the Court held. Read: Victory for Persons with Disabilities as Govt. against amending RPwD Act