Karnataka Forces Differently-Abled Staff To Come To Office; HC Says “Non-Application Of Mind”
State government has recently been reprimanded by the Karnataka High Court after the state government issued a circular wherein it has made it mandatory for 50% of differently abled employees of government to report to work on alternate days.
No Application Of Mind:-
This order by state government has been issued without the application of mind, said a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum.
The High court said that the circular dated 5 January has been issued without any application of mind and has directed the state government to make proper compliance with the same, asking the government to reconsider the decision which made it compulsory for differently abled government employees, in particular blind employees to report to duty.
It chided the government for not even considering the office memorandum dated October 2020, which was issued by Government of India. It clearly gives the direction that the employees with disabilities, as well as the pregnant women shall be allowed to work from home as long as further orders regarding the same are given.
The state government issued the employees belonging to Group A, B, C and D to report to work in hundred percent capacity. This was challenged by Karnataka Federation of the Blind in the court.
The May 18 circular is asked to be reconsidered by the government.
Doing So May Jeopardize Safety Of Employees:-
The High court said that it failed to comprehend the logic after calling 50% of people to report. According to them, either hundred percent should be called to report or work from home, but 50% seemed irrational. Also, with more than 400 covid cased reported daily in Bengaluru, by asking pregnant woman to travel and report to work, we are exposing her to the virus. The decision to call upon the differently abled employees and pregnant women can jeopardize the safety.
The decision has been called as a mechanical decision, because even if a pregnant woman or a blind person takes all the necessary precautions, it does not mean that others will do the same. Hence, jeopardizing the safety of these employees.
On February 1, the matter will be next heard of as the Court directed the State to reconsider its January 5 order within two weeks.