The Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat vide order dated 30/06/2020 ruled that candidates could not be side-lined for appointment to the Lok Rakshak Dal (post of armed/unarmed police constable), as per their merit with all consequential benefits, on the ground of their medical incapacity of colour blindness.
The said order was passed in response to petitions filed by one Milan Chocha Lakhaman and eight other candidates belonging to Surat who remained successful in the written and physical examination for the Lok Rakshak Dal (LRD) recruitment held in 2017.
The main contention put forward in the said petitions was as to whether the Petitioners could be side-lined or denied the said recruitment on the ground of their medical incapacity of colour blindness.
The Petitioners contended that colour blindness neither impeded their abilities nor did it have any mention in the recruitment norms as a ground to be denied the said appointment. A considerable number of candidates were not given appointment due to the colour blindness following the LRD recruitment drive for armed/unarmed constables.
Relying on the previous judgements wherein the police department had denied appointments to candidates due to colour blindness, Justice Biren Vaishnav held that the action on the part of the Respondent in not granting the appointment to the Petitioners was arbitrary and illegal and that the Petitioners have to be treated as qualified and were entitled to be appointed to the post in question.
The Court proceeded to rely on an Apex Court decision in the case of Union of India and ors. Vs. Satyaprakash Vashishth [1994 (Suppl) 2 SCC 52] wherein the Supreme Court while examining a similar issue and rules prescribed for the post of Sub-Inspector (Executive) had held that colour blindness was not a disqualification, as the same was not incorporated in the rules.
The Hon’ble High Court thus, stated as follows, “the respondents are hereby directed to act upon the appointment orders already issued to the respective petitioners and consider appointing them on the post of Unarmed Police Constable, by not treating their colour blindness as ineligibility and ignoring the colour blindness, if nothing adverse is otherwise found against them.”
The Hon’ble High Court further held that though the appellants were entitled to the benefit of service from the date when they should have ordinarily been appointed it would not be appropriate to treat the earlier period prior to the date of their appointment as a period to be reckoned as actual service if a period of actual service is prescribed as a necessary qualification or promotion.
The Respondent was also directed not to interfere with the promotions already made of persons junior to the Petitioners in the merit list on account of the late appointment of the Petitioners.
As per the order, the present petitions were allowed while making the said rule absolute and it was stated as follows, “the case of the petitioners shall be considered in line with the decisions of this court as referred to hereinabove within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of the order of this court”.