Five years ago,Shivam Kumar had cleared the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) examination,but he was not appointed to the civil services. Now,he stands a chance to join the coveted service as the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has directed the UPSC to give appointment letters to four visually-impaired candidates by October this year since they had secured more marks than some general category candidates who cleared the same examinations.
Despite scoring more than at least six general category candidates who were selected for various posts in the civil services,I was discriminated against. I along with three other candidates Pankaj Kumar Srivastava,Abhishek Kumar and Rahul Mittal moved the CAT which has ruled in our favour, said Kumar,now 34 years old.
A resident of Motihari in Bihar,Kumar lost his vision when he was 17. For four years,I sat at home and indulged in pooja paath (prayers). I was told there was no cure to this disease and I submitted myself to God. But in 2001,I decided to move to Delhi and learnt Braille. I completed my graduation and managed to clear the UPSC exams in three attempts, added Kumar,who works as a lower division clerk at a Delhi court.
In 2010,the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) had taken up the case of 11 such candidates who had cleared the UPSC examinations. The delegation also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after which seven of them got appointment letters in February last year. Those who were left out,once again approached the CAT and their contempt petitions were upheld. The government has now been asked to implement the CATs earlier order for their induction by October 17. Lets see what happens now, said Muralidharan of the NPRD.
The four candidates first approached CAT in 2010 as it concerned service matters. The CAT bench headed by its chairman Justice V K Bali and vice-chairman L K Joshi had asked the UPSC to consider allocation of the applicants to suitable services as per their choices. When the UPSC did not implement the order,Kumar and others moved contempt petitions twice in 2012 and 2013. The July 2013 order of the principal bench of the CAT stated: One more opportunity is given to both the respondents (UPSC and DoPT) to carry out exercise in terms of the order dated May 30,2012 in letter and spirit,and communicate the outcome of the same to the applicants. Needful be done within a period of three months.