SC allows people with disabilities to apply for IPS, DANIPS and IRPFS

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed persons with disabilities to apply for Indian Police Service (IPS), DANIPS and Indian Railways Protection Force Services (IRPFS) provisionally as per their preferences in public service and their requested to submit application forms in this regard to the UPSC by April 1st.

The Supreme Court issued the order during a plea hearing challenging the Centre’s August 18, 2021 notification that it had granted a “blanket exemption” to all categories of positions under the IPS , Delhi, Daman and Diu, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Police Service (DANIPS) and IRPFS of the domain of the reservation to be provided thereunder.

A panel of judges AM Khanwilkar and AS Oka have been told by Attorney General KK Venugopal that the government wants time to file a counter affidavit in the case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that it would take two weeks to file the affidavit.

Lead attorney Arvind Datar, representing the petitioner “National Platform for Disability Rights”, said the exams have been completed and some of those people have passed.

Saying they had to file their preferences by the evening of March 24, which was the last date, Datar said they wanted an extension of time for this by a week or two.

He said the petitioner and similarly placed persons may be allowed to submit their application form to the UPSC and their applications may be considered subject to the outcome of the proceedings.

“We find this request most reasonable. Accordingly, we direct the authorities, in particular the Secretary General of the Union Civil Service Commission, to accept hard copies of applications from affected candidates such as petitioners and similarly placed persons physically submitted to the no later than April 1 at the office of the Secretary General, UPSC before 4 p.m.,” the bench said.

The high court also clarified that its order was not to interfere in any way with the ongoing process.

He said that the application filed by the petitioner or similarly placed persons within the time limits would be considered, subject to the outcome of the petition before him.

The bench posted the case for hearing on April 18.

During the hearing, Datar said that many disabled people have passed written exams and now they have to fill in forms and tell central public services what they want – IAS, IPS, IFS, etc.

“Many of our members have passed the main exams,” he said, adding that many of them had not been able to complete the forms until last night.

The plea filed in the Supreme Court stated that no information is available in the public domain to discern the rationale for granting the blanket exemption by notification.

“It is argued that the contested notification granting a blanket exemption to all positions in IPS, DANIPS and IRPFS is unconstitutional, contrary to statute, and is legally untenable for the following reasons: exclusion of PwDs (persons with disabilities ) to even hold administrative and other non-combatant positions in IPS, DANIPS AND IRPFS through the disputed notification is manifestly arbitrary,” he asserted.

The petition requested the cancellation of the notification insofar as it grants a general exemption from the granting of the reservation to persons with disabilities in the IPS, DANIPS and IRPFS.

He also requested the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities to reserve appropriate positions for persons with disabilities within IPS, DANIPS and IRPFS.

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