Are Disabled Persons Socially Backward? written by Surya Sunilkumar student of Ramaiah institute of legal studies
Aryan Raj Vs Chandigarh Administration & Ors. (2020)
In India, the rights of the disabled were determined after the enactment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. Even though there is an act governing the rights of the disabled there are instances wherein the people from disabled categories are discriminated against. Thus the judgment passed by the Supreme Court on 8-7-2020 was an important decision, as the court decided that people suffering from disabilities are considered to be socially backward.
Facts of the Case
A petition was filed by a special aid person named Aryan Raj against the Government College of Arts in Chandigarh. The petitioner has applied for the Painting and Applied Arts course in the college but the respondents denied giving relaxation in minimum qualifying marks thus rejecting the application. The contention made by the respondents of rejection was that disabled persons also have to meet the general qualifying standard of 40% in the aptitude test, whereas SC/ST candidates were given relaxation to 35%.
The Supreme Court of India passed the decree after making the following observation:
• The contention made by the appellants was withheld stating that the categorization under Section 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, would not apply and that the aptitude test must be passed and cannot be exempted insofar as the appellant is concerned. Thus SC agreed with HC on the bifurcation aspect.
• After referring to the high court’s decision in the Anmol Bhandari case the court held people who suffer from a disability are socially backward thus they are entitled to have the same benefit as that of Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe.
• The advertisement issued by the college stated that the minimum percentage that the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe candidate should attain was 35%, therefore, the same cut-off will be applied for disabled students in the future.
The court gave the judgment stating that the appellant can apply afresh for the current year with the documents that are necessary for the application and which are mentioned in the advertisement. It stated that aptitude test marks for the disabled are 35%.
- This judgment has considered the difficulties faced by the disabled person thus catering to their needs. It gives an opportunity for disabled people to pursue something in their lives.
- It is seen as an attempt to remove the distinction between physical/ mental disability with social disability. Experience of untouchability suffered by marginalized sections for centuries is considered the same as the social isolation of a disabled person.
This is an important decision as the Supreme Court observed that people suffering from disabilities are ergo entitled to the same benefits as given to the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe candidates. The court held that the provision giving 35% will be the new concession given to the disabled category. This relaxation will be a benefit for the disabled in their education and employment.