In rare appreciation, the Supreme Court today welcomed the steps taken by the government in filling up vacancies meant for differently-abled persons and disposed of a contempt plea alleging “wilful disobedience” of an order to provide three per cent quota to such persons.
“We have considered rival submissions. In view of the compilation filed by the Solicitor General, it seems that there is an unequivocal and unambiguous commitment by the Union of India to fill up the posts,” a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana said.
“We cannot hold that there is wilful disobedience of the order of this court,” it said, adding that Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar have told the court that the process of filling up of over 15,000 vacancies has begun and would conclude by February next year.
Disposing of the plea of NGO National Federation of the Blind, the bench said filling up so many posts was a “large scale process and to which the Union stands committed” and termed the exercise as a “positive step”.
The court’s order came on the plea which sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and its Secretary for not complying with an earlier order of providing three per cent quota in jobs to persons with disabilities.
The bench, however, did not deal with the issue as to whether the three per cent quota could be provided in cases of promotions also.
It rejected the submission that the Bombay High Court had held that reservation be given in promotions also and this decision had attained finality as the appeal and review of the government against it were rejected by the apex court.
“The SLP (special leave petition against HC order) was dismissed simplicitor. In the absence of any reason (for dismissal), we cannot speculate,” it said.
During the hearing, the Solicitor General said that quota is not permissible in the case of promotions and it has to be given “in fresh appointments” only.