Tamil Nadu

In a model State, we have to be a model institution, CJ tells HC administration

“We are in a model State. We have to be a model institution in that model State so that the rest can emulate us,” Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee of the Madras High Court said on Friday, underscoring the need for opening up as many posts as possible at the High Court for the physically challenged.

Presiding over the first Division Bench, along with Justice P.D. Audikesavalu, the Chief Justice ordered identification of all posts which would be suitable for the physically challenged, particularly the visually challenged, so that the fullest opportunity could be given to them to participate in the selection process.

The orders were passed while the Bench disposed of a writ petition filed by the College Students and Graduates Association of the Blind against the High Court administration for not having allowed visually challenged candidates to be accompanied by scribes for the written test conducted in August for menial jobs at the court.

In reply to the petition, advocate B. Vijay, representing the High Court administration, said the notification calling for applications for the posts of ‘chobdar’, office assistant, cook, waterman, room boy, watchman, book-restorers and library attendants was issued on March 14.

The nature of the work to be performed by the recruitees included cooking, cleaning utensils, washing clothes, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, toilets, urinals, lavatories, attending to gardening work, on the need and exigency, either at the court or at the residences of judges or registrars.

Therefore, the notification stated that only the visually challenged candidates who could write without the help of a scribe would be eligible. Then, no one challenged the stipulation. Hence, the examination was conducted across the State in August and the results were declared in September, he said.

Now, if the examination had to be conducted afresh as sought for by the petitioner association, it would amount to waste of public money spent on the enormous exercise, counsel said. Finding force in his submissions, the judges said the association could have approached the court much earlier but decided to lay out a road map for future.

“It is necessary that this High Court open up and allow persons with disabilities, including those suffering from any form of vision impairment, to have a level playing field and participate in the process of recruitment at various levels,” the Bench said. It ordered identification of posts suitable for the physically challenged.

The judges requested R. Prabhakaran, counsel for the petitioner, and Mr. Vijay to put their heads together and forward their suggestions to the High Court’s Registrar-General by November 30. The Registrar-General was directed to depute a court official to assist the two lawyers and explain to them the details of all posts at the High Court.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 3:27:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/in-a-model-state-we-have-to-be-a-model-institution-cj-tells-hc-administration/article37244311.ece

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