Employee cannot be Removed or Reduced in Rank Owing to Disability: Punjab and Haryana High Court

A Single Judge Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal, while hearing a plea related to Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, on Friday, observed that “merely because the employee cannot carry out work as Junior Assistant, it cannot be taken that he would be unfit to discharge any other job.”

The petitioner, Rawel Singh is 75% physically challenged and was not being allowed by state authorities to continue till the age of 60 which is a violation of the 1995 Act as well as instructions dated 19.11.2014. The State counsel in its reply stated that the increase in age of retirement from 58 to 60 years for disabled employees is not unconditional but subject to the condition that they should be mentally and physically fit to discharge the duties of the post.

Justice Grewal relied on section 47(1) of the Act which stipulates that no establishment can dispense with or reduce in rank an employee who acquires a disability during his service. The Court observed that “the object of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 is to provide a congenial work environment keeping in view the disability of the employee”.

The Court gave interim orders in the matter and directed the authorities to reinstate the petitioner to a suitable post with similar pay scale.

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