Kerala High Court Asserts that Employment Cannot Be Denied Based Solely on Diabetes

LI Network

Published on: February 7, 2024 at 13:35 IST

The Kerala High Court has emphasized that a candidate should not be denied employment simply by citing a medical condition such as diabetes unless it is established that the condition would impact the individual’s ability to perform functional duties or responsibilities.

The ruling came in response to the case of an ex-serviceman who was denied employment as a Ticket Examiner in the Indian Railways due to diabetes.

The Division Bench, comprising Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Shoba Annamma Eapen, stated, “Merely citing a disease, one cannot be denied employment unless it is found that such a disease would have an impact on his functional duties or responsibilities. Thus, we dismiss this original petition.”

The applicant was declared unfit by the medical board, relying on a circular issued by the Ministry of Railways, which deemed individuals with diabetes as unfit.

The Union of India and Railways approached the High Court seeking a fresh consideration of the issue, as the Tribunal could not consider the circular during the initial proceedings.

Upon reviewing the circular, the bench concluded that a candidate cannot be deemed unfit solely because they have diabetes or any other disease. It emphasized that the medical board must assess whether a candidate is unfit by considering the nature of the employment.

The Court clarified that a person should not be considered unfit merely because they have diabetes or another medical condition.

The Court noted that the medical report in this case did not provide specific reasons for disqualifying the applicant, except for the fact that he had diabetes. It asserted that diabetes alone should not disqualify a candidate from performing duties.

Consequently, the Court permitted the Railways to reevaluate the applicant’s medical condition to determine whether the disease would substantially impair his ability to work as a ticket examiner.

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