Visually challenged person cannot be denied participation in exam for Judicial Services

High Court of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana: In a writ petition challenging the validity of Rule 7 of the Andhra Pradesh State Judicial Services Rules, the Bench of Ramesh Ranganathan, CJ. and A. Shankar Narayan, J. allowed the petitioner, a visually challenged person, to participate in the selection process for appointment to posts in the Andhra Pradesh State Judicial Services.

In the instant case, the petitioner submitted his application to appear in the aforementioned Judicial Services exam but his application was rejected and he was told that he was not entitled to appear in the examination and also, no reservation could be provided to him. The petitioner argued that State’s Judicial Service Rules violated his right to equality as it provides reservation for Physically handicapped persons but does not allow any reservation for persons with visual disabilities being in violation of Sections 32 and 33 of the Person with Disabilities Act, 1995 which provides for at least 3% quotas for people with disabilities, of which 1% should be for those with blindness or low vision. They further argued that Delhi Judicial Services Examination in 2015 provided such reservation to the visually challenged and other High Courts too had similar provisions.

The Court held that the question whether reservation should be provided in Judicial Services for the blind, can only be examined after a counter-affidavit is filed by the respondents but the petitioner cannot be denied participation in the selection process under the open category merely on account of his blindness. [Arepalli Naga Babu v. High Court of Hyderabad, Writ Petition No. 31033 of 2016, decided on 14-11-2016]

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