Petition moved in Delhi High Court challenging AIIMS' reservation policy for disabled people

A petition challenging the reservation policy for disabled people by India's top medical institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be heard by the Delhi High Court.

The court has issued notice in a petition moved by an acid attack victim. The petitioner, who suffered the attack in 2004, has challenged an AIIMS notice. It says the a notice issued by AIIMS advertising for the post of Nursing Officer (Group B) unconstitutional and violates the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

It is being said that the advertisement states 32 posts would be reserved for disabled people. However, on applying online, the petitioner found that there was only provision for people with one-leg disability to avail of this reservation. This effectively meant that persons with other disabilities could not apply for the post.

The petitioner says that the fact that she is unable to apply for the post goes against Section 33 of the RPWD Act. This imposes a duty on the government to identify posts to be reserved for people with disabilities.

Besides, as per Section 34, 1% of such posts are to be mandatorily reserved for people with benchmark disability. As per the 2016 Act, victims of acid attack are specifically mentioned as being eligible for reservation under this category.

The petitioner has asked the court that the advertisement be declared as violating Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution. She has also asked the court to direct the central government to ensure that people with benchmark disability, especially acid attack victims, are not discriminated against in public appointments.

The court has permitted the petitioner to apply under the general category. If her petition succeeds, she will be considered under the physically handicapped category.

The matter will be heard next on 13 September.

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