Disabled staff cannot be denied promotion basis posting as per Beneficial Circular: SC

The observation was made in a case where a teacher’s name was missing in a seniority list simply because he chose to get transferred to a location close to his residence, because of his physical disability.

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The appellant in the said case, is a disabled OBC candidate, who was appointed as senior teacher under the Education Department of the Government of Rajasthan, in Deeplana, Hanumangarh, in Bikaner district. He had cleared a direct competitive examination, which had made him eligible.

However, since the location of posting, that is, Deeplana, was 550 kms away from Behror, where the candidate used to stay, he put in a request for transfer to Alwar district, close to his home, post issuance of a circular.

According to the circular issued by the Finance Department of the Rajasthan Government then, all appointing authorities were instructed to try and appoint or post persons with disabilities at or near the location they opt for the time of appointment. It was only post issuance of this circular, that the appellant asked to be transferred, considering his disability.

As per the deputy director of education (secondary), this transfer to Alwar was effected. However, along with the move, he was downgraded.

The teacher, who had been promoted to junior lecturer in 2016, found his name missing in the temporary eligibility list of qualified teachers for promotion to the post of head master in 2017. His name had been brought down in the seniority list from 870 to 1318 reportedly because he had chosen a posting as per a beneficial circular.

The Supreme Court, however, held that disabled employees cannot be forced to lose their seniority for choosing a posting according to a beneficial circular. The Court also held that the benefit of the circular is meant to be extended even to candidates who were appointed before the same was issued.

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