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UPSC CSE 2020: Delhi HC asks DoPT to give number of vacancies, reservations as per RPWD Act

Petitioner organisation Evara Foundation has contended that due to an inadequate number of advertised vacancies for visually impaired and those having multiple disabilities, fewer candidates belonging to these two categories would qualify for the main examination.

By: PTI | New Delhi I |
August 2, 2021 3:48:25 pm
upsc, upsc cse, upsc civil servicesThe NGO has further claimed that there is a mathematical error in calculating the four per cent reservation in the expected vacancies numbering 796. (Representative image)

The Delhi High Court has asked the DoPT to file an affidavit giving the total number of vacancies notified and reservations given in accordance with the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act for the Civil Services Exam (CSE) 2020.

  The court was hearing two pleas by the disability rights organisations, which have alleged that seats for visually-impaired and people with multiple disabilities have not been reserved in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act of 2016.

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A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh granted time to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to file an additional affidavit before August 2, the next date of hearing in the matter.

“The DoPT will clearly highlight in the affidavit the total number of vacancies notified and the reservations given in accordance with Section 34(1) of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 as also the details of 251 vacancies for which it is stated that no reservations can be made,” the bench said.

Central government standing counsel Abhay Prakash Sahay, appearing for the DoPT, submitted that the final vacancies notified for the CSE 2020 are 836, out of which against 251 vacancies, there can be no reservation.

As against the remaining 585 vacancies, 24 have been reserved and thus the reservation is in accordance with the mandate of Section 34(1) of the Act, that is, 4 per cent, he said.

The high court had earlier sought responses of the Centre, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the DoPT on the plea seeking quashing of the notice announcing the civil services preliminary and an interim stay on declaration of the results on the ground that inadequate number of seats have been reserved for persons with visual and multiple disabilities.

Petitioner organisation Evara Foundation has contended that due to an inadequate number of advertised vacancies for visually impaired and those having multiple disabilities, fewer candidates belonging to these two categories would qualify for the main examination.

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It has also said that the number of seats reserved for visually-impaired, deaf, hard of hearing and locomotor disabilities is not in accordance with the RPWD Act.

The foundation has sought a direction to the UPSC and the Centre to “amend the impugned notification by earmarking not less than eight seats for blind/low vision and multiple disabilities category each in the impugned notification”.

It has also sought “equal bifurcation of the vacancies (meant for disabled) among the categories of persons with disabilities minimum one per cent each in terms of law”.

Besides that it has also sought directions to the UPSC and the Centre to fill up all the backlog vacancies of persons with disabilities arising since 1996 till date.

Another plea by NGO Sambhavana has alleged that in the exam notice only expected approximate vacancies for the disabled are mentioned and not the four per cent mandatory reservation mandated under the law.

It has contended that the UPSC exam notice only mentioned “expected approximate vacancies” — a category that does not exist under the law.

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The NGO has further claimed that there is a mathematical error in calculating the four per cent reservation in the expected vacancies numbering 796.

It has said that four per cent reservation of 796 would come to 31.8 or 32 vacancies, whereas according to the notice the number is 24.

The petition has also claimed that even the subsequent distribution of the vacancies at the rate of one per cent per category of disability — deaf, blind, locomotor and multiple disabilities — is also not mathematically accurate.

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