Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to recruit a physically-challenged applicant as a nurse, setting aside a Single Bench judgment dismissing his petition.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A. P. Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar directed the civic body to recruit the appellant, Ranveer Singh Rajput, within eight weeks of the order.

The Bench also imposed a cost of Rs.5,000 on the MCD and asked it to pay the amount to the appellant.

The Delhi Subordinate Service Selection Board on behalf of the civic body had in November brought out an advertisement seeking applications for recruitment of 280 nurses. However, there was no mention of any reservation for physically-challenged persons in it.

The appellant, therefore, applied under the unreserved category but failed to make the grade.

His prayer before the Singh Bench was for a stay on appointing a person to the post pending disposal of the writ petition and a direction to make appropriate provision for reservation for the disabled as per Section 33 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

After recording the statement of the Delhi Government’s Standing Counsel that after the filing of the petition it had been decided to make reservation for disabled persons in future vacancies, the Single Bench disposed of the petition. However, the Bench refused the relief sought by the petitioner on the ground that he had applied under the unreserved category.

Though the civic body had requested the Board to publicise 280 vacancies for the post, the latter had recommended 279 candidates for appointment to the post. This was also confirmed by counsel for the local body.

“Since there were 280 vacancies, and 279 have been filled up and one is stated to be available, it appears to this Court to be in the interest of justice to direct that the appellant must be admitted to the said vacant seat,” the Division Bench said in its direction.

“Merely making a provision for the disabled in future in terms of the Act which has been in force since 1995 is not a satisfactory answer to the grievance of the appellant. He cannot be faulted for applying in the unreserved category when in fact no provision was made for applying in the disabled category,” the Bench ruled.