A three judge bench of the Supreme Court on 14.01.2020 has granted relief to persons with disabilities across the country by allowing reservation in promotion in all Groups for those employed in public sector jobs. The apex court passed the order in a batch of matters, and affirmed the earlier decision of a two-judge bench passed on 30th June 2016 in the case of Rajeev Kumar Gupta vs. Union of India (get judgment copy below).
The lead case in the batch of matters was Siddaraju vs. State of Karanataka (get judgment copy below). Mr. Rajan Mani and Ms. Ritu Kumar of the Disability Law Initiative, who were counsel in the connected matters for petitioners Syed Ghouse Basha and Poonam Manchanda, and were also the counsel in the earlier Rajeev Kumar Gupta case, stated that “this judgement will open the doors for thousands of persons with disabilities who have been stagnating at the lower levels in public sector jobs, as their promotion to higher level posts was made difficult due to discriminatory policies”.
The earlier order in Rajeev Kumar Gupta’s case had granted reservation in promotion to persons with disabilities employed in Groups A and B in addition to Groups C and D, holding that wherever posts are identified to be suitable for persons with disabilities, 3% reservation must be given in direct recruitment as well as in promotion. The Government of India had however challenged the earlier judgement and the same was referred to the present three judge bench, on the question whether persons with disabilities were entitled to being granted reservation in promotion in view of the bar against reservation in promotion in the Indra Sawhney judgment.
The three judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman, while answering the reference, has upheld the reasoning as stated in the Rajeev Kumar Gupta case.