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The Persons with disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 = High court instead of dismissing the writ petition on withdrawal of writ, ought to have consider the same under this act = “47 ­ Non ­discrimination in Government employments. ­ (1) No establishment shall dispense with, or reduce in rank, an employee who acquires a disability during his service: Provided that, if an employee, after acquiring disability is not suitable for the post he was holding, could be shifted to some other post with the same pay scale and service benefits: Provided further that if it is not possible to adjust the employee against any post, he may be kept on a supernumerary post until a suitable post is available or he attains the age of superannuation, whichever is earlier. (2) No promotion shall be denied to a person merely on the ground of his disability: Provided that the appropriate Government may, having regard to the type of work carried on in any establishment, by notification and subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in such notification, exempt any establishment from the provisions of this section.”= The inquiry was proceeded for about 11 years, when the finding was given that the appellant is insane and the order of compulsory retirement was passed on 15th October, 2007.= The appellant was appointed in the service of respondents as an IAS officer and joined in the year 1977. He served for 30 years till the order of his compulsory retirement was issued on 15th October, 2007. It is not the case of the respondents that the appellant was insane and in spite of that he was appointed as an IAS Officer in 1977. Therefore, even it is presumed that the appellant became insane, as held by the Inquiry Officer, mentally illness being one of the disabilities under Section 2(i) of the Act, 1995, under Section 47 it was not open to the respondents to dispense with, or reduce in rank of the appellant, who acquired a disability during his service. If the appellant, after acquiring disability was not suitable for the post he was holding, should have been shifted to some other post with the same pay scale and service benefits. Further, if it was not possible to adjust the appellant against any post, the respondents ought to have kept the appellant on a supernumerary post until a suitable post is available or, until the appellant attained the age of superannuation whichever was earlier.= The High Court also failed to notice the relevant fact and without going into the merit allowed the counsel to withdraw the writ petition merely on the basis of the finding of Inquiry Officer. In fact the High Court ought to have referred the matter to a Medical Board to find out whether the appellant was insane and if so found, in that case instead of dismissing the case as withdrawn, the matter should have been decided on merit by appointing an Advocate as amicus curiae. ; It is informed at the bar that in normal course the appellant would have superannuated from service on 31st July, 2012. we have no other option but to set aside the order of compulsory retirement of the appellant dated 15th October, 2007 passed by the respondents; the order dated 22nd December, 2008 passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi in O.A.No.2784/2008 and the impugned order dated 20th April, 2010 passed by the High Court of Delhi in W.P.(C)No.2622/2010 and the case is remitted to the respondents with a direction to treat the appellant continued in the service till the date of his superannuation. The appellant shall be paid full salary minus the subsistence allowance already received for the period from the date of initiation of departmental proceeding on the ground that he was suffering from mental illness till the date of compulsory retirement. The appellant shall also be provided with full salary from the date of compulsory retirement till the date of superannuation in view of the first and second proviso to Section 47 of the Act, 1995. If the appellant has already been superannuated, he will also be entitled to full retiral benefits counting the total period in service. The benefits shall be paid to the appellant within three months, else the respondents will be liable to pay interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date the amount was due, till the actual payment. 21. The appeal is allowed with the aforesaid observations and directions but there shall be no order as to costs.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=40495

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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  4944  OF 2013
(ARISING OUT OF SLP(C) NO.26400 OF 2010)
ANIL KUMAR MAHAJAN  …APPELLANT
VERUS
UNION OF INDIA THROUGH SECRETARY,
MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL, PUBLIC GRIEVANCES
AND PENSIONS, DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL
AND TRAINING, NEW DELHI. AND OTHERS           … RESPONDENTS
J U D G M E N T
SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, J.
Leave granted.
2. This appeal has been preferred by the appellant against
the judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court of
Delhi dated 20th April, 2010 in W.P.(C)No.2622 of 2010.
The   relevant   portion   of   the   said   judgment   reads   as
follows:
“O R D E R
20.04.2010
After   some   arguments,   learned   counsel
for  the    petitioner  seeks  to  withdraw   the
petition as a finding has been given by the
respondents,   that   the   petitioner   is   an
insane   person   and   the   petition   has   been
filed by the insane person himself and not
through the next friend.
In   the   circumstances,   learned   counselPage 2
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for   the   petitioner   seeks   to   withdraw   the
petition   with   liberty   to   file   an
appropriate   petition   through   the   next
friend.
Dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty
prayed for.
All   the   pending   applications   are   also
disposed.”
3. The   aforesaid   order   has   been   challenged   by   the
appellant on two counts mainly:
(i) The   High   Court   failed   to   decide   the
question   as   to   whether   the   appellant   is   an
insane person; and
(ii) If so, i.e. if the appellant is insane,
the High Court ought not to have allowed the
lawyer who received instructions from an insane
person to withdraw the case.
4. In this case, it is not necessary to discuss all the
facts,  except the relevant one, as mentioned hereunder:
The appellant joined the Indian Administrative Service
(I.A.S.) on 12th  July, 1977. He alleged that while he was
posted   as   an   Additional   Secretary­cum­Editor   of   State
Gazatteer, Bihar at Patna, he was placed under suspension
from   17th  February,   1988   to   20th  February,   1988   and   by
another order dated 24th February, 1988 he was placed under
suspension till further orders. Subsequently, the order ofPage 3
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suspension   was   revoked   on   24th  February,   1990.   He   moved
before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Patna Bench, in
O.A.No.288/1991 seeking a direction to the respondents to
promote him to the selection grade from the date he became
entitled with all the consequential benefits. The appellant
contended that he has a clean service record, except for
the year 1985­86 for which an adverse ACR was communicated
to him by letter dated 25th  February, 1989, after a lapse
of near about three years. The detailed facts related to
adverse entry, etc. were brought on record and the Tribunal
after hearing the parties, by the judgment dated 22nd June,
1992 held that it was not just and fair to act upon the
adverse   entry   of   1985­86   against   which   the   appellant’s
representation   is   still   pending   and   directed   the
respondents   to   consider   his   case   in   the   next   DPC   for
promotion to the selection grade on the basis of existing
material. The said application was accordingly disposed of
by the Tribunal.
5. It   appears   that   another   application   Registration
O.A.No.238/1991   was   preferred   by   the   appellant   before
the   Central   Administrative   Tribunal,   Patna   Bench,
wherein on the revocation order of suspension he prayed
for a direction to the respondents to give him a post
befitting   to   his   status   with   further   prayer   to   directPage 4
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the respondents to pay his  salary for the period from
February, 1990 onwards with interest and cost. The said
application was disposed of on 10th October, 1992 with a
direction to the respondents to pay the appellant salary
for the certain period with interest.
6. Subsequently, the appellant was placed under suspension
on   20th  May,   1993   and   was   subjected   to   departmental
inquiry   by   the   Member   Board   of   Revenue   and   Inquiry
Officer who framed charges by Memo No. 6056 dated 22nd
June, 1993 against the appellant.
7. Appellant in his reply stated that a number of time he
was   placed   under   suspension   and   proceedings   were
initiated in that regard, and orders are made directing
him to be present before a Medical Board, which not only
tortured him but also his family, and also stated that
he had developed incurable ulcer, hence he expressed his
inability to be present before the inquiry.
8. It   appears   that   one   of   the   charges   was   that   the
appellant  while  posted  as  Officer  on  Special  Duty,  Bihar
State   Planning   Council   had   directed   Treasury   Officers,
Secretariat Treasury, Patna to reject the bills of one Shri
P.K.   Mishra,   Development   Commissioner   which   was   an   act
beyond his jurisdiction. The second charge was that whilePage 5
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submitting   one   of   the   Travelling   Allowance   Bills,   the
appellant requested the Secretary(Personnel) to countersign
the  bill.  He  alleged  that  his  Controlling  Officer,  i.e.,
the Development Commissioner cannot countersign the bill as
a   case   is   being   pursued   against   him   under   Mental   Health
Act, 1987. The third charge was that the appellant accused
the   Development   Commissioner   of   losing   his   mental
stability.     Fourth   charge   was   related   to   description   of
duties written by him as per the confidential report (1985­
86) which shows that the  appellant has become a victim of
imbalanced mental illness.  Fifth charge was that one Shri
Bhaskar   Banerjee,   the   then   Land   Reforms   Commissioner   has
accused   the     appellant   of   being     indisciplined,
irresponsible, unstable and mentally sick.
9. The appellant filed a representation on 25th  February,
2000   to   the   respondents   seeking   voluntary   retirement.   He
remained   under   suspension   for   a   long   period.     When   the
suspension  was  not  revoked  even  after  several  years,   the
appellant   preferred   representation   before   the   higher
authorities   which   was   rejected   by   the   Ministry   of
Personnel,   Public   Grievances&   Pension   Department   of
Personnel & Training on 29th April, 2002. The representation
of   the   appellant   seeking   voluntary   retirement   was   also
rejected   on   the   ground   that   he   had   not   qualified   thePage 6
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minimum   20   years   of   service   and   thus   as   per   the
respondents, he was not eligible for voluntary retirement.
10. After about 11 years the Inquiry Officer submitted the
report on 4th December, 2004. According to the appellant he
was   not granted any opportunity of being heard   and the
Inquiry Officer submitted an ex­parte report against him.
The   suspension   order   seems   to   have   been   revoked   by   the
respondents with effect from 23rd October, 1998.
11. A writ petition was filed by the appellant before the
High Court; wherein a counter­affidavit was filed and the
respondents took a plea that despite the revocation of the
suspension   order   of   the   appellant,   he   never   joined   the
duties and remained absent despite repeated reminders made
by the Department.   In the writ petition preferred by the
appellant, the High Court has recorded the submissions of
the appellant that he would be satisfied if the respondents
considered his request for voluntary retirement and release
him from his service. A contempt petition was also filed by
the   appellant   in   2006   on   the   ground   of   violation   of   the
order dated 9th  May, 2006 passed by the Delhi High Court.
During the pendency of the writ petition and the contempt
petition,  the authorities the passed impugned order dated
15th October, 2007,  whereby the appellant was compulsorily
retired from service.   Page 7
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12. The   appellant   preferred   an   application   being
O.A.No.2784/2008   before   the   Central   Administrative
Tribunal,  Principal Bench, New Delhi wherein he challenged
the departmental proceedings. Before the Tribunal, learned
counsel for the appellant contended that though the Inquiry
Officer had returned a finding in favour of the appellant,
insofar as charge No.3 is concerned, but the disciplinary
authority without recording a note of dissent held that the
said  charge  as  well  stands  proved.  The  Tribunal  accepted
that the disciplinary authority had not recorded any note
of dissent and accepted the report of the Inquiry Officer.
The   tentative   view   of   the   disciplinary     authority,   even
when   charge   No.3   stood   not   proved;   was   to   punish   the
appellant with the compulsory retirement.  But the Tribunal
found   that   it   was   only   U.P.S.C.   which   has   returned   a
finding of guilt insofar as, charge No.3 was concerned, and
the   disciplinary   authority   has   only   accepted   the   said
finding.   Confronted with the aforesaid position, learned
counsel for the appellant contended that the U.P.S.C. had
no  jurisdiction  whatsoever  to  return  a  finding  on  charge
No.3 by reversing the finding given by the Inquiry Officer,
and   that   it   had   only   an   advisory   role   to   play.     It   was
further urged that the disciplinary authority was not bound
to accept the advice of U.P.S.C. The Tribunal went into thePage 8
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aspects of the case but held that in the context of the
facts and circumstances of the present case, there is no
need to go into the same as  a positive finding has been
given by the Inquiry Officer that the appellant was totally
insane.  The disciplinary authority agreed to the same and
despite the fact that charge No.3 was not proved, and while
taking the same to have not been proved, it was the opinion
of the disciplinary authority that the appellant would need
to   be   compulsorily   retired.   Therefore,   the   Tribunal   held
that   the   opinion   or   advice   of   U.P.S.C.   has   made   no
difference whatsoever in the case.  Insofar as the insanity
of   the   appellant   was   concerned,   it   appears   that   the
appellant was asked to appear before the duly constituted
Medical Board on eight occasions and he refused to appear
before the Medical Board. Instead, he challenged the order
of the Inquiry Officer calling upon him to appear before
the Medical Board.
The   Tribunal,   further,   observed   that  yet   another
reason   to   hold   the   appellant   is   insane,   i.e.,   his   non­
appearance before the duly constituted Medical Board, which
would necessarily lead to an irresistible presumption that
had   the   appellant   appeared   before   the   Medical   Board   the
opinion   of   the   Board   would   indeed   have   been   that   the
appellant is insane.   Having found no merit, the TribunalPage 9
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dismissed the original application.
13. The appellant then preferred the writ petition being
W.P.(C)No.2622/2010 challenging the finding of the Tribunal
in the said case. The Division Bench passed the impugned
order   dated   20th  April,   2010,   as   quoted   in   the   preceding
paragraph.
14. The SLP was preferred by the appellant in person. In
view   of   the   severe   cardio   respiratory   problem   of   the
appellant,   subsequently   he   did   not   appear   in   person,   he
engaged the counsel.
15. On   hearing   the   parties   and   perusing   the   records,   we
find   that   there   was   some   problem   going   on   between   the
appellant and the authorities of the State which resulted
in   creating   numerous   problems.   Since   1988,   the   appellant
was suspended and for promotion and posting he had to move
before   the   Tribunal   in   the   year   1990.     The   departmental
inquiry was initiated, wherein the allegation was made that
the appellant was mentally sick and then the allegations of
indiscipline, irresponsible and misbehaviour were made. The
inquiry was proceeded for about 11 years,  when the finding
was   given   that   the   appellant   is   insane   and   the   order   of
compulsory retirement was passed on 15th October, 2007.
16. The   Persons   with   disabilities   (Equal   Opportunities,
Protection   of   Rights   and   Full   Participation)   Act,   1995Page 10
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(hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act, 1995′) was enacted in
the year 1995 with the following statement of objects and
reasons:
(i) to   spell   out   the   responsibility   of   the
State   towards   the   prevention   of
disabilities,   protection   of     rights,
provision   of   medical   care,   education,
training,   employment   and   rehabilitation
of persons with disabilities;
(ii) to   create   barrier   free   environment   for
persons with disabilities;
(iii) to remove any discriminaton against
persons with disabilities in the sharing
of development benefits, vis­à­vis non­
disabled persons;
(iv) to counteract any situation of the abuse
and   the   exploitation   of   persons   with
disabilities;
(v) to lay down a strategy for comprehensive
development   of   programmes   and   services
and   equalization   of   opportunities   for
persons with disabilities; and
(vi) to   make   special   provision   of   the
intergration   of   persons   with
disabilities   into   the   social
mainstream.”
Section 2(i) defines disability:
“Section 2(i) “disability” means­
(i) blindness;
(ii) low vision;
(iii) leprosy-cured;
(iv) hearing impairment;
(v) loco motor disability;
(vi) mental retardation;
(vii) mental illness;” Page 11
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17. There   is   a   prohibition   imposed   under   Section   47   to
dispense with, or reduce in rank, an employee who acquires
a disability during his service, which reads as follows:
“47  ­  Non­discrimination   in   Government
employments.   ­  (1)   No   establishment   shall
dispense with, or reduce in rank, an employee
who acquires a disability during his service:
Provided   that,   if   an   employee,   after
acquiring disability is not suitable for the
post he was holding, could be shifted to some
other post with the same pay scale and service
benefits:
Provided further that if it is not possible
to  adjust   the  employee   against   any  post,   he
may be kept on a supernumerary post until a
suitable post is available or he attains the
age of superannuation, whichever is earlier.
(2) No   promotion   shall   be   denied   to   a
person   merely   on   the   ground   of   his
disability:
Provided   that   the   appropriate   Government
may, having regard to the type of work carried
on in any establishment, by notification and
subject to such conditions, if any, as may be
specified   in   such   notification,   exempt   any
establishment   from   the   provisions   of   this
section.”
18. The   appellant   was   appointed   in   the   service   of
respondents as an IAS officer and joined in the year 1977.
He   served   for   30   years   till   the   order   of   his   compulsory
retirement was issued on  15th October, 2007. It is not the
case of the respondents that the appellant was insane andPage 12
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in   spite   of   that   he   was   appointed   as   an   IAS   Officer   in
1977.   Therefore,   even   it   is   presumed   that   the   appellant
became   insane,   as   held   by   the   Inquiry   Officer,   mentally
illness being one of the disabilities under Section 2(i) of
the   Act,   1995,   under   Section   47   it   was   not   open   to   the
respondents   to   dispense   with,   or   reduce   in   rank   of   the
appellant, who acquired a disability during his service. If
the appellant, after acquiring disability was not suitable
for the post he was holding, should have been shifted to
some   other   post   with   the   same   pay   scale   and   service
benefits.   Further, if it was not possible to adjust the
appellant against any post,  the respondents ought to have
kept the appellant on a supernumerary post until a suitable
post is available or, until the appellant  attained the age
of superannuation whichever was earlier.
19. In view of the aforesaid finding, we are of the view
that it was not open to the authorities to dispense with
the service of the appellant or to compulsory retire him
from   service.     The   High   Court   also   failed   to   notice   the
relevant fact and without going into the merit allowed the
counsel to withdraw the writ petition merely on the basis
of the  finding of Inquiry Officer. In fact the High Court
ought   to   have   referred   the   matter   to   a   Medical   Board   to
find out whether the appellant was insane and if so found,Page 13
13
in that case instead of dismissing the case as withdrawn,
the matter should have been decided on merit by appointing
an Advocate as amicus curiae.
20. It is informed at the bar that in normal course the
appellant   would   have   superannuated   from   service   on   31st
July, 2012.   In that view of the matter, now there is no
question of reinstatement of the appellant though he may be
entitled   for   consequential   benefits   including   arrears   of
pay. Having regard to the facts and finding given above, we
have   no   other   option   but   to   set   aside   the   order   of
compulsory retirement of the appellant dated 15th  October,
2007   passed   by   the   respondents;   the   order   dated   22nd
December,   2008   passed   by   the   Central   Administrative
Tribunal,   Principal   Bench,   New   Delhi   in   O.A.No.2784/2008
and the impugned order dated 20th April, 2010 passed by the
High Court of Delhi in W.P.(C)No.2622/2010 and the case is
remitted to the respondents with a direction to treat the
appellant   continued   in   the   service   till   the   date   of   his
superannuation.   The   appellant   shall   be   paid   full   salary
minus   the   subsistence   allowance   already   received   for   the
period   from   the   date   of   initiation   of   departmental
proceeding on the ground that he was suffering from mental
illness   till   the   date   of   compulsory   retirement.   The
appellant shall also be provided with full salary from thePage 14
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date   of   compulsory   retirement   till   the   date   of
superannuation in view of the first and second proviso to
Section 47 of the Act, 1995. If the appellant has already
been   superannuated,   he   will   also   be   entitled   to   full
retiral benefits counting the total period in service. The
benefits   shall   be   paid   to   the   appellant   within   three
months, else the respondents will be liable to pay interest
at the rate of 6% per annum from the date the amount was
due,  till the actual payment.
21. The appeal is allowed with the aforesaid observations
and directions but there shall be no order as to costs.
…..………………………………………….J.
(G.S. SINGHVI)
……..……………………………………….J.
(SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)
NEW DELHI,
JULY 2,  2013.Page 15
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k.inbasakaran,advoca… on Sec.138 of N.I.Act – Ter…
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