Persons who are differently abled are to be on an equal footing with SC/ST


Background:

  • Aryan Raj, a student with disability sought to be matriculated in an Art course in the Government College of Art, Chandigarh.
  • The qualifying marks for SC/ST were 35%, but for the general category and for persons with disability, the marks were kept at 40%.
  • The Punjab and Haryana High Court gave an order against Aryan Raj.
  • Aggrieved by the judgment, he knocked the door of the Apex Court.

Supreme Court grants rights to persons with disabilities.

  • The appeal filed by Aryan Raj, was disposed by upholding the Division Bench judgment of Delhi High Court.
  • Delhi High Court in the case of AnmolBhandari(minor) through his father/natural guardian v Delhi Technological University, 2012 (13) DRJ 583 held that, “people suffering from disability are all equally socially backward”.

Brief analysis of Delhi High Court Judgment:

  • DTU gave a 10% concession to students belonging to SC/ST category and 5% to persons with disability.
  • The petitioner, challenged this on the grounds of violation of Article 14. The policy being based on unreasonable classification.
  • The Court examined the National Policy for personas with disability (2006) that guaranteed equality, freedom, justice and dignity for all individuals.
  • The 2001 census showed that 51% people with disabilities were illiterate.
  • Court further referred to the case of AI Confederation of Blind and Anr v UOI and Anr (2002), where it was held that, 5% relaxation should be given to SC/ST and persons with disability equally.
  • Finally, Delhi High Court stated that, “Reservation for disabled is horizontal reservation, cutting across all categories of SC/ST/OBC/General.”
  • And the policy of DTU was discriminatory having no reasonable basis of differentiation.
  • DTU was issued a mandate to give 10% relaxation, equivalent to SC/ST category.

Persons who are specially abled are at the fag end of society, often agonized by their miseries. It is a constitutional duty upon the state to ensure their security; social, economic and political. Stripping them off their rights to education takes away the fundamental rights of Article 15, 21 and 21-A.

Their growth is essential for the upliftment of society as a whole.

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