Right to Reservation in Promotion for People with Disabilities

Supreme court Law Insider IN
Supreme court Law Insider IN

Shivangi Prakash

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that people with physical disabilities are entitled to the right to reservation in promotions as well.

It was held when an appeal filed by the State of Kerala against a verdict of the Kerala High Court was dismissed by a two-judge bench consisting of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy (the State of Kerala vs Leesamma Joseph). The Supreme Court ruled that the High Court’s decision was “salutary” and that no further action was required.

In addition, the Supreme Court ordered the Kerala government to apply for disability reservation in promotion within three months.

The panel was following a January 2020 verdict in the case Siddaraju vs. State of Karnataka, which concluded that the norm of no reservation in promotions established in the Indra Sawhney case does not apply to Persons With Disabilities (PWD).
In the Siddaraju case, justices RF Nariman, V Ramasubramanian, and Aniruddha Bose were debating a reference that cast doubt on a decision in Rajiv Kumar Gupta & Others v. Union of India & Others – (2016) 6 SCALE 417.

The bench in Rajiv Gupta stated that there is no limitation against reservation in promotion for persons with disabilities under the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights, and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

The rule in Indra Sawhney & Others v. Union of India & Others – (1992) Supp. 3 SCC 215 regarding reservation in promotions will not apply to PWDs, according to the bench in Rajiv Gupta.

The three-judge bench in the Siddaraju case maintained the ruling in Rajiv Gupta that people with disabilities had a right to promotion in the reservation.

The Supreme Court highlighted in today’s decision that the Kerala government has failed to carry out the Rajiv Gupta orders. As a result, the state was given instructions to implement the directives in all positions within three months.

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