Bombay HC asks railways to provide visually-impaired woman job denied over typo | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Bombay HC asks railways to provide visually-impaired woman job denied over typo

Mar 01, 2024 04:05 PM IST

A bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and MM Sathaye on Tuesday directed the Railway Recruitment Cell to complete the process within six weeks

A person with complete loss of sight cannot be expected to stand on equal footing with other job applicants, the Bombay high court has said while directing the Railway Recruitment Cell to process the job of a 31-year-old woman denied to her due to a typographical mistake in her online application form.

The court cited the principle of reasonable accommodation in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The court cited the principle of reasonable accommodation in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and MM Sathaye on Tuesday directed the cell to complete the process within six weeks.

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Shanta Sonawane, a resident of Thane district, applied for the job in February 2019 under the Persons with Benchmark Disabilities category. She specified her disability as visual impairment—Blind (B) or 100% visual impairment.

A person at an internet cafe made a mistake in her birth year by writing 1992 instead of 1993 while filing Sonawane’s online form. The mistake was noticed when Sonawane was called for document verification after clearing the recruitment examination in February 2023. Sonawane obtained an updated Aadhar card but could not upload it due to a technical glitch. She was later informed her candidature was rejected on account of the mistake in her birth year.

Sonawane moved the high court, where the cell opposed her petition, claiming the eligibility of a candidate under the recruitment rules was to be determined only based on the information provided in the online form and therefore she was held ineligible.

The court refused to accept the contention citing the principle of reasonable accommodation in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, which mandates supplementary support to individuals with disabilities and facilitating their complete integration into society. “It means the proactive creation of conditions conducive to the person with disabilities,” the court said. “Unless there is evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, or basic ineligibility, reasonable efforts should be made to modify the procedures to align with the objectives of the legislation.”

The court said the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act not only mandates ensuring equal opportunities for people with disabilities but also making necessary adjustments to meet their specific needs. It added visually impaired individuals may make mistakes, such as typing errors, due to their impairment.

The court said these errors should not result in discrimination or unfair treatment by employers. It added employers should ensure that minor mistakes due to disabilities do not lead to serious consequences such as loss of job opportunity

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Special Correspondent. I have spent over a decade covering courts in Mumbai, primarily the Bombay High Court, and including several important trials like trial of 120 accused in March 1993 Mumbai bombings, 26/11 case - trial of Ajmal Kasab.

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