SC allows physically disabled individuals to apply for IPS, IRPFS and DANIPS

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has passed an interim order allowing physically disabled individuals the option of applying for selection to the Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Railways Protection Force Service (IRPFS) and DANIPS (Delhi, Daman & Diu, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep Police Service), once they have cleared their civil services exam.

The order came on a writ petition filed by an NGO challenging the exclusion of disabled individuals from these services. The NGO has contested a September 2021 announcement excluding people with disabilities from certain branches of the civil services, both in combat and administrative capacities.

On Friday, the SC bench said that the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) can receive the applications by the physically disabled individuals either physically or by courier till 4 pm on April 1.

Talking about the current selections going on in the civil services exam, the court said that the ongoing process should not be hampered.

During the hearing, Attorney General of India KK Venugopal told the court that the Centre wanted to make submissions in the matter. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta then asked for two weeks’ time to reply to the petition.

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for the NGO National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled, stated that many differently-abled candidates who had cleared their written mains were unable to give their preferences as the deadline for the same got over by March 24. He asked for interim relief till the matter was heard so that the preferences could be noted.

To this, Attorney General KK Venugopal opined, “They could be allowed to apply and for the same to be kept in a separate cover subject to the court’s order.” The bench responded that it found the interim prayer to be “most reasonable”. In its petition, the NGO had stated that the issue was of national importance as the notification was both unlawful and arbitrary. It further said that the exclusion was an abuse of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. A bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Abhay S Oka is hearing the case. The next date for the matter has been set for April 18.

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