New Delhi: The Delhi
High Court has held that a university here has to provide equal
reservation to disabled candidates in admission as available to
scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates to avoid
The court said it was "discriminatory" on the part of Delhi
Technical University (DTU) to provide only five percent relaxation
in admission to disabled candidates in comparison to 10 percent
reservation to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates and
asked the university to also extend this to disabled candidates.
"People suffering from disabilities are equally socially backward,
if not more, as those belonging to SC/ST categories and therefore,
as per the Constitutional mandates, they are entitled to at least
the same benefit of relaxation as given to SC/ST candidates," a
division bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw observed in a judgment made available
The bench was dealing with the question of law as to the quantum
of relaxation in standards to be provided to disabled candidates
for admission to engineering college in the reserved quota for
persons with disabilities.
The question that arose before the court was whether or not the
relaxation provided to SC/ST candidates for B.Tech programmme at
DTU, that provides technical courses, was to be extended to
The court's direction came on a plea filed by one Anamol Bhandari,
who is 50 percent physically disabled.
He had challenged the provisions of DTU that has provided 10
percent concession of marks in the minimum eligibility
requirements for candidates belonging to SC/ST, but relaxation of
only five percent for people with disabilities.
The plea said that Bhandari through AIEEE examination became
eligible to be considered for admission in DTU. He secured 52.66
percent (PCM) in Class 12, whereas minimum eligibility for
physically challenged candidates in the university is 55 percent,
and so he was not being considered for admission for B.Tech
computer science course.
"If the relaxation to people with disability candidates is given
at par with SC/ST candidates, i.e., to the extent of 10 percent,
then he becomes naturally eligible to be considered in DTU," the
The court, besides directing the university to provide 10 percent
relaxation to physically challenged candidates, also asked it to
consider Bhandari for admission in B.Tech course and, if found
eligible for admission, grant him the same.
"We, therefore, hold that the provision giving only five percent
concession in marks to disabled candidates as opposed to 10
percent relaxation provided to SC/ST candidates is discriminatory
and people with disability are also entitled to same treatment.
"The mandate is, accordingly, issue direction to DTU to provide 10
percent relaxation. Thus, the minimum eligibility requirement for
persons with disability becomes 50 percent in PCM," the order
Advocate Rajan Mani, amicus curiae in the case appointed by the
court, told IANS: "DTU's admission criteria for general category
candidates was 60 percent marks at class 12 level, relaxed by 10
percent for SC/ST candidates (i.e qualifying marks of 50 percent)
but only by five percent for disabled candidates (i.e. qualifying
marks of 55 percent).
DTU had sufficient seats reserved for persons with disabilities
but did not find Bhandari eligible based on the qualifying
standard of 55 percent for the disability reservation category,
The university, an autonomous one that comes under the technical
education department of the Delhi government, however, had told
the court it is a policy decision to grant five percent relaxation
to disabled students keeping the cut-off entry at 55 percent and
these standards are in conformity with the Delhi University where
relaxation of five percent marks is given to disabled students.
The court also highlighted the government's decision that was
accepted by the Supreme Court that reservation for disabled is
called horizontal reservation which cuts across all vertical
categories such as SC, ST, OBC and General.
The court opined: "Since people with disabilities belonging to
SC/ST categories, i.e., vertical categories enjoyed the relaxation
which is provided to SC/ST categories, there is no reason not to
give the same benefit/concession to those disabled who are in
General Category or Other Backward Class Category as that process
only would bring parity among all persons' disparity irrespective
of their vertical categories."
"This itself provides for justification to accord same concession,
viz., 10 percent concession to people with disabilities as well,
in all categories which is extended to those disabled students who
fall in the category of SC/ST," the order further added.