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Supreme Court permits persons with disabilities clearing UPSC to apply for IPS, state police services

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The Supreme Court on Friday allowed persons with disabilities, who have cleared the Civil Services exams, to provisionally apply in the UPSC Selection process for the Indian Police Service (IPS), the Indian Railways Protection Force Service (IRPFS), and the Delhi, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep Police Services.

The bench led by Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Abhay S. Oka in their interim order has granted the relief to person with disabilities to apply provisionally in the UPSC Selection process who have cleared the written exams. The bench has passed its interim order in the Appeal filed by the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled in response to a September 2021 announcement that banned people with impairments not just from Combat Duties but also from Administrative Positions.

Today, the government has sought 2 weeks’ time to file reply to the petition. 

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, for the petitioner, submitted that this matter has to be heard because recently another bench gave a judgment saying that the court has to lay down guidelines as to what is the meaning of “having regard to nature of work” in relation to disabled people. He drew attention of the Court to The Government Report of 2015 which has identified about 2000 posts which can be occupied by people with disabilities that has been notified in January 2021. 

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Datar requested the court that some handicapped persons who have cleared the Civil Services Written examination, 2021 had to indicate their preference of Cadre by submitting a detailed application form the last date for which was yesterday. He sought an interim relief in the nature of extension of this deadline for submission of applications for the petitioners. He requested the court to extend the deadline by one week and admission of such candidates can be subject to the outcome of this petition. 

The bench recorded that since the selection process is already ongoing and the Last date of submitting forms in terms of clause 8 of the instructions issued by the union public service commission has already expired yesterday, the petitioners and similarly placed persons be permitted to submit their application forms to Secretary General of UPSC by next week and their claim can be considered subject to the outcome of this proceeding. The Court has directed the authorities to accept hard copies of application of the concerned candidates submitted on or before 1st april, phycially or by courier. The Court made it clear that this order is not to intervene the ongoing process of selection in any manner. The matter would now be heard on 18th April, 2022. 

Previously, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, representing the Petitioner, urged that the issue be heard promptly since it was of ‘National Importance.’

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The present Petition has been brought before the Supreme Court challenging a Central Government Notice that barred Persons with disabilities from serving in the Indian Police Service (IPS), the Indian Railways Protection Force Service (IRPFS), and the Delhi, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep Police Services.

The notification, according to the plea, was Unlawful and Arbitrary.

“Due to the notification, persons with disabilities cannot opt for any services in these three and thus miss out on an important career pathway,” the petition stated.

The Plea further claimed that the Central Government, in a blatant abuse of its powers under Section 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, excluded all kinds of employment in the IPS, DANIPS, and IRPFS. It was argued that the Central Government must speak with the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities before providing such an exemption.

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The petition further stated that the announcement was in contravention of a 2019 advertisement published by the Delhi Police giving reservation for people with impairments.

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