Request received for Voluntary retirement from service (VRS) from Persons With Disabilities – DOPT OM in light of Supreme Court Order in Bhagwan Dass & Anr Vs Punjab State Electricity Board, (2008) 1 SCC 579
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
Establishment A-IV Desk
North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Dated: September 7, 2020
Subject:- Request received for Voluntary retirement from service (VRS) from Persons With Disabilities – Supreme Court Order in Bhagwan Dass & Anr Vs Punjab State Electricity Board, (2008) 1 SCC 579 — clarification reg.
The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s O.M. of even no. dated 19.05.2015 on the subject noted above regarding the treatment of VRS notice given by a Government servant on medical grounds or on account of disability.
In this regard, it is stated that the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (PWD Act) has been repealed by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD Act, 2016), which came into force on 19th April, 2017. Hence, section 47 of PWD Act, 1995 as stated in DoPT’s O.M. of even no.19.05.2015 is replaced by the provisions of section 20 of the RPWD Act, 2016.
Section 20 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 provides as under:
“20. (1) No Government establishment shall discriminate against any person with disability in any matter relating to employment: Provided that the appropriate Government may, having regard to the type of work carried on in any establishment,by notification and subject to such conditions, if any, exempt any establishment from the provisions of this section.
(2) Every Government establishment shall provide reasonable accommodation and appropriate barrier free and conducive environment to employees with disability.
(3) No promotion shall be denied to a person merely on the ground of disability.
(4) No Government establishment shall dispense with or reduce in rank, an employee who acquires a disability during his or her service:
Provided that, if an employee after acquiring disability is not suitable for the post he was holding, shall be shifted to some other post with the same pay scale and service benefits:
Provided further that if it is not possible to adjust the employee against any post, he may be kept on a supernumeraty post until a suitable post is available or he attains the age of superannuation, whichever is earlier.
(5) The appropriate Government may frame policies for posting and transfer of employees with disabilities”
4. In view of the above provision of RPWD Act, 2016 and Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgement in case of Bhagwan Dass & anr vs Punjab State Electricity Board (2008) 1 Scc 579, it is stated that whenever a Government servant seeks voluntary retirement citing medical grounds, or when the said VRS notice has been submitted due to a disability, the Administrative authorities shall examine as to whether the case is covered under Section 20 (4) of RPWD Act, 2016. In case the provisions are applicable, the Government servant shall be advised that he/she has the option of continuing in service with the same pay scale and service benefits. In case a disabled Government servant reconsiders his decision and withdraws the notice for voluntary retirement, his case shall be dealt with the aforesaid provisions of Section 20 of RPWD Act, 2016. If however, in spite of being so advised, such Government servant still wishes to take voluntary retirement, the request may be processed as per the applicable rules.
5. All the Ministries and Departments are requested to keep the above in view while processing cases of requests for voluntary retirement from disabled Government servants.
(Surya Narayan Jha)
Under Secretary to the Government of India