Mistreated in exam hall, blind woman to get Rs 5K payout

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 28 November 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Irked at the way a visually challenged candidate was treated while she was taking examination for the post of junior clerk, the Bombay high court recently asked the Thane zilla parishad to pay her Rs 5,000 as compensation.

The authorities had initially told her that she could have a writer for the examination who was just class IX pass. Later, they made her sit in the examination hall with other visually challenged candidates who could hear the answers she was dictating to her writer.

"Having regard to the fact that the petitioner is a completely visually impaired candidate and she was required to undergo the examination and also having regard to the conduct of the supervisor, we are of the view that the zilla parishad should be directed to pay costs to her," said a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha. The court was hearing a letter written by the candidate, Prachi Shirsikar, which was converted into a suo motu petition.

Prachi, who had passed her BA examinations, sought permission for a writer who had passed class XII. But the authorities rejected the plea saying as qualification for the post was class X, she could engage a writer who had passed class IX and not beyond.

The court pointed out that "this ground was absolutely unreasonable and contrary to the guidelines laid down by the state government".

The court also slammed the authorities for making Prachi sit in the same examination hall where other candidates with low vision were asked to take the examination. "The other candidates were given benefit of the petitioner's knowledge and the entire purpose of conducting the examination was defeated," the judges said.

The HC has directed the zilla parishad to conduct afresh the exams for three posts reserved for "blind/low vision candidates".

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