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Disabled teacher wins discrimination case in Supreme Court

The teacher Net Ram Yadav had asked for transfer from his then working place, 550 km away from his native district, so that he could be near his family

August 20, 2022 04:48 am | Updated 10:02 am IST - NEW DELHI

A view of Supreme Court of India.

A view of Supreme Court of India. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

A physically-handicapped teacher, a member of the OBC community, who fought the Rajasthan government's decision to demote him in return for transferring him to his home town won his case in the Supreme Court, which declared the marginalisation of the disabled as a human rights issue.

The Supreme Court took exception to the hard bargain the disabled teacher had to endure. A Bench led by Justice Indira Banerjee also noted how the High Court did not appreciate the plight of the teacher, Net Ram Yadav, represented by advocate Rahul Shyam Bhandari.

Mr. Yadav had asked for transfer from his then working place, 550 kms. away from his native district, so that he could be near his family who could support him.

The Court's attention was drawn to a circular issued by the State government in 2000 enabling handicapped employees to be posted at a convenient place near their family, relatives, friends or institutional support.

The Court said the benefit of the circular should be extended to Mr. Yadav though he had joined as a teacher in 1993.

"Exclusion of the benefit of the circular to handicapped employees already in employment at the time of its issuance, would violate the fundamental right of equality of those employees," Justice Banerjee wrote in the judgment.

There is an increasing global concern about the sidelining of the disabled, the Court noted.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) aims at protecting the human rights and dignity of persons with disability. India is one of 177 countries which has ratified the UNCRPD.

"Equally important is the right of nondiscrimination… Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity lie at the core of the dignity of persons with disability," Justice Banerjee observed.

The State was ordered to give Mr. Yadav the full seniority and benefits of his years of teaching service.

“Exclusion of the benefit of the circular to handicapped employees already in employment at the time of its issuance, would violate the fundamental right of equality of those employees”Justice Indira Banerjee Supreme Court Judge

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