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Anjali Arora vs National Thermal Power Corporation

In The High Court Of Delhi At New Delhi
C.W.P.No. 7120 Of 2002

In a case that sets precedence, Anjali Arora under the counsel of Ashok Agarwal, Social Jurist, New Delhi, challenged the Constitutional validity of the rejection of her candidature by the National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd, for the post of Assistant Law Officer as her educational qualifications did not meet the criteria.

The details:

  1. Anjali Arora is visually challenged with a Degree in Law from the Delhi University and is enrolled as an Advocate with the Delhi State Bar Council since 1998.
  2. She applied for the post of Assistant Law Officer under the "Physically Handicapped" category for a post advertised in Employment News dated 28th September-4th October 2002. The post required a Graduate Degree in Law (Professional) from a recognized University with at least 60% marks (only Pass marks required for SC/ ST candidates).
  3. Anjali Arora completed her degree of law in 1998 with 58.73%. Her candidature was rejected on the grounds that she did not fulfill the minimum criteria of 60 percent of marks.

The discrepancies:

In terms of OM No. 14016/1/85-Estt. (SCT) Deptt. Personnel and Training, Govt. of India dated 04.09.1995, candidates belonging to physically handicapped category are also legally entitled to the same benefits /relaxations as other reserved quotas.

The judgment:

Order passed: 15.07.2003

The court directed the NTPC to give relaxation to physically handicapped candidates as is available to scheduled caste/scheduled tribe candidates in educational qualifications ie, pass marks. This concession would have to be reviewed after five years.

The OM from the GI Deptt. Per. & Trg.OM No. 14016/1/85-Estt. (SCT) dated 04.09.1995 is as under:

Subject: Relaxed standard of selection of physically handicapped person against reserved vacancies.

According to the instructions in this department's O.M NO. 1/1/70- Estt. (SCT), dated 2.07.1970 (See Order 7 under Section 2) in the case of direct recruitment, whether by examination or otherwise, if sufficient number of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes candidates are not available on basis of the general standard to fill all the vacancies reserved for them. Candidates belonging to the communities are allowed to be selected under the relaxed standard of selection to make up the deficiency in the reserved quota, subject to the fitness of these candidates for appointment to the post/posts in question. The question of extending this concession to physically handicapped persons has also been under consideration of the government of India and it has been decided that the instructions of the OM dated the 25 July, 1970 aforementioned will apply mutatis mutandis to physically handicapped persons also".

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