Pointing out that removing a person from service on the ground that he has acquired disability is per se illegal, the Madras High Court has said that if no suitable alternative post is available, the person should be kept in a supernumerary post.

Justice D. Hariparanthaman said any employee, who acquired disability during service was given protection under Section 47 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full participation) Act. The provision mandated that no establishment should dispense with such employees.

T.M. Ravichandran was working as a conductor in the State Express Transport Corporation. He was found medically unfit in February 2004. He was removed from service by an order of August 16 the same year stating that he would be given alternative employment based on the seniority list maintained. He sought alternative employment. By an order of December 26, 2011, the transport undertaking declined his request stating that there was no helper post available to provide him job. Mr. Ravichandran sought to quash both the orders and prayed for a direction to provide him alternative employment with back wages.

Allowing the petition, Mr. Justice Hariparanthaman said the transport corporation could not say there was no post of helper. The legal provision contemplated adjusting the employee in a suitable post with pay protection. If that was not available, he should be kept in a supernumerary post until a suitable post was available or he attained superannuation.

The court directed the transport undertaking to provide the petitioner a suitable alternative job within two weeks along with wages from the date of termination till he was reinstated in service.

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