• Ms Arushi Singh

Siddaraju vs State of Karnataka & Ors. (Civil Appeal No. 1567 Of 2017)

CASE

Siddaraju vs State of Karnataka & Ors.


CITATION

Civil Appeal No. 1567 Of 2017


CORAM

Supreme Court of India (Civil Appellate Jurisdiction)

Full Bench - Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman (author), Hon’ble Mr. Justice Aniruddha Bose and Hon’ble Mr. Justice V. Ramasubramanian



ALSO KNOWN AS

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POINT OF CONSIDERATION

Whether persons governed by “The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” can be given reservation in promotions or not.


FACTS

  1. Parliament passed the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (Act 1 of 1996) in pursuance of Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asia and the Pacific region signed by India at a Conference held at Beijing, China, in December 1992.

  2. Office Memorandum dated 29.12.2005 of the Government of India declared the Quantum of Reservation as, firstly, 3% in case of direct recruitment to Group A/B/C and D and, secondly, 3% in case of promotion of in Group C/D if the direct recruitment in the promoted post is less than 75%.

  3. A Division Bench of Supreme Court in 2017 was posed with a question to decide whether persons governed under “The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” (for short “Act”), can be given reservation in promotions or not.

  4. The bench was of the view that the persons suffering from disability certainly required preferential treatment and such preferential treatment may also cover reservation in appointment but not reservation in promotion.

  5. However, a similar-sized Supreme Court Division Bench had earlier taken a contrary view that persons under the Act can be given reservation in promotion in Rajiv Kumar Gupta & Others v. Union of India & Others ((2016) 6 SCALE 417)

  6. Therefore, the batch of cases before the current Full Bench came on a reference made by the former mentioned Division Bench of Supreme Court dated 03.02.2017.


ISSUES RAISED & RATIO

  • Whether the bar of reservation in promotion as provided by Indira Sawhney applicable to persons with disability covered under the Act or not?


The court quoted the earlier ratio held in National Federation of the Blind and Others (2013) that a perusal of Indra Sawhney (1992) would reveal that the ceiling of 50% reservation applies only to the vertical reservation in favour of other Backward classes under Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India whereas the reservation in favour of persons with disabilities is horizontal, which is under Article 16(1) of the Constitution. The horizontal reservation for persons with disabilities has nothing to do with the ceiling of 50% and hence, Indra Sawhney is not applicable with respect to the disabled persons.


The court further quoted the ratio of Rajeev Kumar Gupta (2016) that prior to Indra Sawhney (1992), reservation in promotions were permitted under law as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Southern Railway v. Rangachari (1962). Indra Sawhney specifically overruled Rangachari to the extent that reservations in promotions were held in Rangachari to be permitted under Article 16(4) of the Constitution. Indra Sawhney specifically addressed the questions whether reservations could be permitted in matters of promotion under Article 16(4). The majority held that reservations in promotions are not permitted under Article 16(4). The present bench accepted this ratio and held that since it has been established that the reservations of disabled persons do not fall under Article 16(4), therefore the bar of reservation in promotion stipulated by Indira Sawhney under Article 16(4) does not extend to disabled persons.


  • Whether persons governed under “The persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995”, can be given reservation in promotions or not?

The court declared the law laid down in Rajeev Kumar Gupta as good in law and reiterated that the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 can be given reservation in promotion.


IMPORTANT CASES REFERRED

  1. Rajiv Kumar Gupta & Others v. Union of India & Others (2016) 6 SCALE 417

  2. Union of India and Another v. National Federation of the Blind and Others, (2013) 10 SCC 772

  3. National Federation of the Blind vs. Sanjay Kothari, Secy. Deptt. of Personnel and Training, 2015 (9) Scale 611, in para 10

  4. Indra Sawhney & Others v. Union of India & Others (1992) Supp. 3 SCC 215

  5. Southern Railway v. Rangachari AIR 1962 SC 36


The author is an LL.B Graduate of University School of Law and Legal Studies, GGSIPU, New Delhi.


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