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High Court rules in favour of reservation for PWDs

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 14:17 -- geeta.nair

Our Correspondent

Kohima, Oct. 29 (EMN): The Gauhati High Court, Kohima Bench has directed the government of Nagaland to take ‘appropriate action’ as per section 33 and 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, and other provisions of the Act, within a period of five months so that the provisions of the Act can be fully implemented in the state.

The HC also decided that one post each for Extra Assistant Commissioner and Secretariat Assistant post be reserved for visually disabled or impaired person.

This was in relation to the case of Toviholi Sumi, assisted by Nagaland State Legal Services Authority, who had filed a writ petition at the Gauhati High Court, for the aforesaid post reservations for visually disabled or impaired person. The petitioner is a visually impaired person, who has appeared NPSC exams several times, and have even reached viva round four times.

The bench led by Justice S Serto ruled that: “The petitioner’s prayer is not beyond the rights or entitlement as per the Act of 2016 and as per the right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Granting of her prayer as per the provisions of the Act and the provisions of the Constitution will not infringe anybody’s right.”

It ruled that “one post of EAC and one post of Secretariat Assistant out of 15 posts and 40 posts respectively be reserved for visually disabled or impaired persons.”

Speaking to Eastern Mirror, the petitioner Toviholi Swu, said that she is “happy” at the judgement, and at the same time “sad” as she was made to go “through this, in the first place” to get her “fundamental right”.

“Even though I am a disabled person, I am a human being,” she said.

Recounting the early days of the case, the 32-year-old said: “I was alone, there was no one supporting me.” Further, she said, the state government  was “not very interested” in solving the case.

“There has been a lot of misunderstanding. Some people went on to say that I am being selfish,” she said.

Nevertheless, she asserted, the verdict is a vindication. “If it (reservation) is open for me, it is for everyone (PwDs).”

She thanked the advocates who had represented her cause.

The issue started three years ago, with PwDs community including the PwD Commissioner back then, sending representations to the state government. But the “inaction” on the government’s part had compelled her to file a case subsequently.

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