HP University disabled quota

HP High Court pulls up Govt & HPU over denial of 5% quota to disabled students

As a tight slap on the face of Himachal Pradesh University and the State Government, the State High Court has asked them to explain reasons for not ensuring five percent quota in higher education institutes for the disabled students.

Shimla: After the Himachal Pradesh University denied admission to her despite a provision of reservation for disabled students, a blind girl wrote a letter to the Himachal Pradesh High Court telling her grievance.

Indu Kumari, a poverty stricken girl from the backward region of Chamba district, in her letter on July 21, 2017, told the Chief Justice that she completed her BA from Rajkiya Kanya Manha Vidyalaya College, Shimla.

However, she was denied admission in MA (Political Science) by HP University despite a provision of five percent quote for disabled candidates under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Not just Indu, but several other students were also told that the provisions of the new Act were not implemented in the university. These students had to return disappointed.

However, the High Court has come to the rescue of these students by considering the letter as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

As a tight slap on the face of Himachal Pradesh University and the State Government, the State High Court has asked them to explain reasons for not ensuring five percent quota in higher education institutes for the disabled students.

The division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel directed the University to enroll the petitioner and consider the similar cases of some other students for admission and hostel facility.

The bench also directed the state government to implement the provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

The Court also asked the Chief Secretary and the Registrar of HP University to file affidavits and explain the steps taken to implement the Section 32 of the Act related to five percent reservation quota for the disabled students and availability of a mechanism for redressal of grievances of students who otherwise stand deprived of statutory entitlements.

The bench observed that the government did not send directions to the different department for the implementation of the Act and the “request” of the Nodal Department did not work.

Arjun Lall, amicus curie, informed the Court that two other visually impaired students namely, Vijay Kumar and Jitender Kumar, had sought admission in B.Ed. in Dharamshala and Shimla, respectively. A physically disabled student Ravinder Kumar had applied for admission in MA (Economics).

It is the responsibility of the government to ensure complete and proper implementation of the provisions of the Act. It is an obligation, coupled with duty, cast upon the government to ensure compliance of the statuary provisions.

The High Court said

Ajai Srivastava, chairman of Umang Foundation, who had offered Indu a scholarship during her college education and is fighting for the rights of the disabled students has welcomed the Court’s orders and said that it would prove to be a mile stone in the empowerment of the disabled students.

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