Even after the Supreme Court issued authoritative judgement and explicitly directed the government to do away with distinction and extend at least 3% (now 4%) reservation in job to PwDs in all the identified posts irrespective of the mode of filling such posts, Nagaland government still failed to comply the same and turned a deaf ear towards PwDs of Nagaland. The matter was already filed in Guwahati High court, Kohima Bench by Ms. Toviholi Swu (assisted by NLSA) but the case is still pending in Court.
Even though the state government implemented ‘Nagaland Disability Act 2008’, the act is only on the paper and a lip servicing on the provisions of 3% reservation in job. This infamous ‘Nagaland Disability Act 2008’ not only discriminated PwDs of Nagaland in the matter of public employment but also meted out injustice towards PwDs of Nagaland for equal opportunities and full participation. There are many instances where the government failed explicitly to maintain 3% job reservation as per the Nagaland Disability Act 2008.
1. For instance, in the recent result of LDA cum Computer Assistant, out of 33 vacancies filled, none of the post was reserved for PwDs. This is clearly a violation of Nagaland Disability Act 2008 as the post is identified suitable for PwDs as per office memoranda issued by Deptt. of Personnel & Administrative Reforms dated 19.02.2004 & 16.01.2018.
2. There are many loopholes in implementing the provisions of 3% (now 4%) reservation in job and anomalies in maintaining the posts identified suitable for each categories of benchmark disability. During the recruitment year 2010-2017, 1400+ posts were filled through NCS, NPS, NSS & Allied Services, Combined Technical Services, Common Educational Services & Stenographer service but only 10 posts were allotted to PwDs candidates (which is not even closed to 1% while the actual reservation is 3%). As per the PwDs Act 1995 read with RPwDs Act 2016, the provision on 3% (now 4%) reservation should not be reduced in any case and the reservation (%) can be computed by taking into account the total number of of vacancies in identified and non – identified category of posts during the recruitment year. Moreover, These Acts on the provision of reservation didn’t give any authority to state government to reduce/amend 3% (4%) reservation for PwDs. From the aforesaid facts, State government and State recruiting agency (NPSC) not only denied 3% reservation to PwDs but also quashed Nagaland Disability Act 2008, PwDs Act 1995 & 2016 and contravened on the provisions of 3% job reservation. Regarding the post identified suitable for PwDs, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment issued the list of post identified in Group A, B, C & D for each benchmark disabilities in 2013 (superseding all the earlier memoranda) and directed the Central/State government to comply the same. However, Nagaland State government is yet to follow the norms and standards of post identified suitable for PwDs as laid down by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Department of Personnel & Training. The posts of Assistant Professor, Lecture, EAC, BDO, SDO, Assistant Research Officer, Information Officer, Librarian, Public Relations Officer, Post Graduate Teacher, Assistant Engineer, etc are all identified suitable for PwDs but the State Government still deny appointment to PwDs in these posts. Several representations on these matters have been submitted to the higher echelons for remedial action but the same went deaf ear.
The State government/government officers are duty bound to follow the law and it’s not open to them to allow their bias to defeat the lawful rights of PwDs. However, the Nagaland government fail to realize that PwDs too are equal citizens and have as much share in its resources as any other citizen. The State government consider us as third class citizens and tortured us enough from our basic rights & shares but we are patiently waiting for them to accept us as equal citizens of Nagaland and fulfill our rights. It is loud and clear that he denial of our rights wouldn’t only be unjust and unfair to us & our families but would create larger & graver problems for the society at large. “What the law permits to us is no clarity or largess but our rights as equal citizens”.
Ghunavi G Sumi Naga
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