A differently abled assistant sub inspector’s (ASI) plea for promotion was dismissed by the Bombay high court recently. This ASI, of the central reserve police force (CRPF), who had been diagnosed with schizoaffective psychosis and had an 80 per cent mental disability, challenged the decision that excluded him from the list of promoted candidates for the position of assistant commandant (Ministerial).
In the past, the petitioner had been removed from his position, but he successfully challenged his removal before the Guwahati High Court, which ordered his reinstatement from the time he left, and the reimbursement of outstanding dues. This judgement was upheld by the Supreme Court, and the petitioner, in due course, was reinstated, along with a transfer to the Nagpur division in 2016.
However, in January 2017, when a list of promoted candidates was published by the CRPF, the petitioner claimed that he should have been promoted based on his seniority but was excluded from the list. Consequently, he filed a writ petition challenging the decision not to promote him.
The Bombay High Court dismissed the petitioner’s plea, stating that the satisfaction of medical eligibility conditions is crucial for ensuring the safety of paramilitary personnel. The court emphasised that the denial of promotion to a differently abled person who does not meet the medical criteria does not equate to discrimination.
The court further observed that while the petitioner was protected under Section 47(1) of the Persons with Disabilities Act, which prohibits the removal of employees who acquire disabilities during service, promotion is a separate matter altogether, and the court still rejected the petitioner’s argument that the denial of promotion violated relevant sections of disability rights act.
The court emphasised that in the case of paramilitary forces like the CRPF, it is essential to satisfy medical eligibility conditions. Therefore, the court concluded that the petitioner was not entitled to the protection provided by the disability rights act.