Manjunatha v. Government of Karnataka and Ors

W.P. 35969/2010, judgment dated 29-09-2011 (Karnataka High Court).

Case Summary

In this case, the petitioner, who was completely blind sought to apply for the B. Ed. Course under the government quota of seats in Karnataka. However, he was denied admission by reason of the condition that persons with disability greater than 75 per cent would not be eligible for admission. The announcement issued by the respondent permitted applications from persons with disability but restricted it to such applicants who had a disability exceeding 40 per cent but below 75 per cent.

The Karnataka High Court allowed the petition by holding that such a provision in the announcement ran counter to the PWD Act. The respondent government argued that the upper limit in the announcement was based on a similar provision in Karnataka Selection of Candidates for Admission to Teachers Certificate Higher Course (TCH) and Bachelor of Education  Course (B.Ed.) Rules 1999 and therefore such a notification could not be challenged. The bench however, rejected this contention and held that even the Rules run contrary to the PWD Act and the state government could not rely on the Rules to deny admission to candidates having more than 75 per cent disability. The court ruled in favour of the petitioner and held that he was entitled to take up CET for admission to B.Ed. course and further declared that he shall not be denied admission on the basis of his disability exceeding 75 per cent.

The observations of the court strengthened the protection for persons with disabilities as it effectively held that the disability legislations would take precedence over administrative rules of the government.

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