disabled-are-entitled-to-same-benefits-of-scst-quota-supreme-court

Context: The Supreme Court in a recent judgment extended the relaxation norms for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes towards the Disables.

More on News:

  • The decision was based on a PIL filed by Mr. Aryan Raj against a Punjab and Haryana High Court order in which the HC upheld the Chandigarh college decision of not extending the same admission relaxations for SC/ST towards the disables.
    • Mr. Raj was not able to get admission to a painting course as he didn’t score minimum marks of 40% like a general candidate while it was 35% for a SC/ST candidate.

Vulnerability of disabled section:

  • Disables have been an under-privileged and under-represented section of society.
  • They have abysmally low literacy and employment rates viz a viz the general population which calls for non application of same qualifying criteria for disables and general candidates. 

Judgement of SC

  • It called for applying the same qualification standards to Disables as for SC/ST in cases of education and public employment.
  • It referred to the 2012 case of Anamol Bhandari V. Delhi Technological University wherein the HC held that disables suffer from social backwardness and hence are entitled to the same benefits as SC/STs.
  • The court instructed for drafting new courses keeping in mind the needs of intellectually disabled persons.

Conclusion:

The move will help in improving socio-economic situation of disables and better realisation of objectives of Right of Persons with Disabilities act, 2016.

Constitutional provisions related to Disability:

  • Article 15(1) of the Constitution enjoins on the Government not to discriminate against any citizen of India (including disabled) on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • Article 15 (2) states that no citizen (including the disabled) shall be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition on any of the above grounds in the matter of their access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, and places of public entertainment, etc.
  • Article 17: No person including the disabled irrespective of his belonging can be treated as untouchable. It would be an offense punishable in accordance with law as provided.
  • Every person has his/her life and liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution and it includes Disabled too.
  • Article 41 of DPSP - The State shall make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness, and disablement.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016:

  • It  replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. 
  • It fulfills the obligations to the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory.  
  • Disabilities covered: The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21.
  • Rights and entitlements
    • Reservation in higher education (not less than 5%), government jobs (not less than 4 %), reservation in the allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes (5% allotment), etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs.
    • Every child with a benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
  • The Act provides for the grant of guardianship by District Court under which there will be a joint decision making between the guardian and the persons with disabilities.
  • Broad-based Central & State Advisory Boards on Disability are to be set up to serve as apex policy-making bodies at the Central and State level.
  • Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/disabled-are-entitled-to-same-benefits-of-scst-quota-supreme-court/article32059867.ece

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/for-equal-treatment-the-hindu-editorial-on-the-supreme-court-extending-benefits-to-the-disabled/article32106048.ece/amp/