Court’s response comes in the wake of a PIL stating UPSC neglected minimum reservation for disabled persons.

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to give details about the method of computing vacancies in the All India Civil Services for which it carries out the recruitment process.

The query was posed to UPSC by a Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan while hearing a PIL which has challenged this year’s notice announcing the details of the civil services preliminary examination, which is to be held in October 4.

The challenge is on the ground that the notice neglects the minimum reservation to be provided to disabled persons.

The High Court issued notices to the Centre, UPSC and concerned ministries of the various services, like IAS, IPS and IFS, to which the successful candidates are recruited, seeking their stand on the plea by NGO Sambhavana which has alleged that under the exam notice, only expected approximate vacancies for the disabled are mentioned and not the the 4% mandatory reservation mandated under the law.

The petition, filed through advocates Krishan Mahajan and Ajay Chopra, has contended that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act of 2016 mandates that every government establishment shall reserve 4% of its total vacancies for those with benchmark disabilities.

However, the UPSC exam notice only mentions “expected approximate vacancies” — a category that does not exist under the law.

“The notice becomes a fraud on the Act since it gives 4% reservation of 796 expected approximate vacancies. To reserve something of that which does not legally exist is to legally give nothing.” the petition has contended.

The NGO further claims that there is a mathematical error in calculating the 4% reservation in the expected vacancies numbering 796.

It has said that 4% reservation of 796 would come to 31.8 or 32 vacancies, whereas according to the notice the number is 24.

The petition further claims that even the subsequent distribution of the vacancies at the rate of 1% per category of disability — deaf, blind, locomotor and multiple disabilities — is also not mathematically accurate.

It also said that even the backlog of vacancies have not been mentioned.

The court, while listing the matter for further hearing on August 31, asked the UPSC to also mention the backlog of vacancies in its affidavit along with how it has calculated the vacancies for the disabled.

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