Service Law
Downgradation in Seniority—Appeal—Appellant was appointed in the category of handicapped candidates and posted at a distance of about 550 km away from his place of residence—By a Circular issued by State Government, all the appointing authorities were directed to consider the appointment/posting of persons with disabilities at or near the place for which they opt at the time of appointment/posting—Appellant applied and was transferred to his hometown, however, with downgradition in his seniority—One of the disadvantages faced by physically disable persons is the inability to move freely and easily—Object of Circular was to enable the physically disable person to be posted at a place where assistance may readily be available—Distance from residence may be a relevant consideration to avoid commuting long distances—Benefit which has been given to the disable through the Circular/Government Order cannot be taken away by subjecting the exercise of the right to avail of the benefit on such terms and conditions, as would render the benefit otiose—High Court should have been more sensitive and empathetic to the plight of a physically disabled—High Court erred in law in overlooking the different between physically disabled persons impaired in their movement and normal able-bodied persons—High Court failed to appreciate that treatment of un-equals as equals ignoring their special needs violates Article 14 of the Constitution—Impugned judgments and orders of High Court are set aside—Office order whereby the seniority of the appellant has been downgrade is set aside and respondents directed to restore the seniority of the appellant in the State to the original position—Appeal allowed. [Constitution of India, 1950, Articles 14, 16 & 21]
[Paras 30 to 33]
Decision : Appeal allowed