Diabetes no ground for denying job, says HC

July 18, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:50 am IST - CHENNAI:

If you are a diabetic, it cannot be held against you for denying you a job, the Madras High Court has held, underlining the “absence of any scientific evidence” to prove that a diabetic cannot discharge his or her official duties.

“This is especially in view of the fact that today, India has become the diabetic capital of the world, probably due to the concerted efforts taken in the past five decades by the food, fertilizer, pharmaceutical and beverage industries,” a Division Bench comprising Justices V. Ramasubramanian and T. Mathivanan said.

Dismissing an appeal filed by the Southern Railways, which opposed a Central Administrative Tribunal’s (CAT) order directing authorities to appoint in Group D post a woman who was medically found unfit, the bench said, “in the absence of any scientific evidence to show that a diabetic will not be able to discharge the duties of his office, it is not possible to accept the stand taken by the petitioners.”

Even as the judges confessed that they were not medical experts to contradict or confront the opinion of the physician found along with the affidavit, they said, “nevertheless we must point out at least what is in public domain.”

Observing that the contention made by the physician cannot be accepted in the case as a “mere speculation of complications cannot be made a reasonable ground” to deny the woman employment, the bench said the diabetes to the woman at this stage was manageable with regular treatment and eventually granted eight weeks time to the Railways to issue an appointment order to her.

The Southern Railway had in its appeal sought to quash a CAT order which directed officials to appoint P. Pushpam to a suitable Grade 'D' post within 12 weeks.

Ms. Pushpam was among the 2,95,111 candidates who applied for the 3,698 vacancies in Group D posts in the Integral Coach Factory and eventually made it through several levels of short-listing, before she found herself in the list of 58 who were found medically unfit.

After she was found medically unfit on her appeal for re-examination, she preferred a plea in the CAT which allowed it by replying on a High Court order and hence the appeal by the Railways.

The Southern Railway had in its appeal sought to quash a CAT order which directed officials to appoint P. Pushpam to a suitable Grade 'D' post within 12 weeks.

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