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Quota for visually-impaired candidates

Quota for visually-impaired candidates
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The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on a PIL filed by an NGO seeking one per cent out of total three per cent quota for persons with...

Delhi HC reserves verdict

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on a PIL filed by an NGO seeking one per cent out of total three per cent quota for persons with disabilities in UPSC's civil services exam for visually- impaired candidates.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw reserved the judgement after the counsel for Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and NGO 'Sambhavana', which works for visually-impaired persons, concluded their arguments in the case. UPSC, which has earlier reserved only two seats for visually-impaired candidates in civil services examination, was asked by the court to furnish fresh details of seats to be reserved for them as per the Disabilities Act.

"Out of total 1,364 vacancies, 53 seats have been reserved for the persons with different kinds of disabilities and this is more than three per cent seats as prescribed under the Act.

"Out of these 53 seats, 13 have been reserved for visually-impaired candidates, 21 seats have been reserved for persons suffering from locomotive disabilities and rest 19 seats have been kept for candidates with hearing disorders," the counsel for UPSC today said, adding that now, nothing survived in the plea.

Advocate Pankaj Sinha, himself visually-impaired, opposed the plea on behalf of the NGO saying visually-impaired candidates should and must get one per cent of total reserved 53 seats. Earlier, UPSC had sought more time for furnishing details of vacancies for visually-impaired candidates in the civil services examination.

The court had earlier found fault with the assessment of UPSC that had led to the reservation of only two seats for visually-impaired candidates in the civil services examination.

The court, which had refused to stay the prelims, had said "before the schedule for Mains Examination is fixed, the respondents (UPSC and cadre-controlling authorities) shall ensure proper assessment of number of vacancies reserved for visually-impaired candidates in conformity with 1 per cent reservation provided under Section 33 of the Disabilities Act, and notify the same."

Refusing to stay the the prelims exam, the court had come down heavily on UPSC and various cadre-controlling authorities of the Centre for reserving only two seats for visually- impaired candidates.

"Prima facie, we find substance in the contention of the writ petitioner that the reservation for visually-impaired candidates is not in conformity with Section 33 of the Disabilities Act. However, we are not inclined to stay the Preliminary Examination on that ground," it had said.

It had allowed the another plea of the NGO that civil services aspirants of the category be given 20 minutes extra time per hour to answer questions in the preliminary and the mains examinations.

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