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Maharashtra reinstates visually impaired clerk to college

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 15:36 -- admin

In a major relief to a visually impaired employee of Chetna College, who was sacked by the college because of her disability, the state government has order her reinstatement by November 30 at the same post.

On Friday, government pleader GW Mattos informed a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice RS Dalvi about the state government’s decision to reinstate Nilima Surve as junior clerk.

Mattos said: “The state government has also decided to provide her with the necessary software, JAWS (it reads out the words typed on the computer). Either Chetna College will install the software for her or the state will do it and then deduct the amount from the grant allowed to the college.” Surve had moved the high court after the commissioner of disability had upheld her termination, instead of supporting her.

In November 2006, the Bandra college had appointed Surve as a junior clerk. But, she was dismissed from service four months later. The college had cited “mistakes in her typing” as the reason behind the termination.

The bench had earlier made several remarks about how Surve, who wanted a software to be installed in her computer to improve her work, was sacked for “unsatisfactory work”. She had approached the commissioner for disability challenging her dismissal stating she had merely sought installation of the software, JAWS, but the college chose to dismiss her in March 2007.

Surve’s counsel Chetan Agrawal had informed the bench that commissioner had passed some critical remarks in the order upholding her termination, such as: “the woman should have acquired the knowledge of technology available and used in the market instead of asking for a specific one”.

Acting on the petition filed by Surve, the state government has now been directed to ensure that all disabled persons employed with the state government or semi-government officers are provided with the necessary equipment to help them in their work.

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