|Refuses to accept that he is suffering from colour blindness|
MADURAI: Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has come to the rescue of a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) driver who was removed from the job after five years of service on the ground that he was suffering from a congenital disorder of colour blindness.
Dismissing a writ appeal filed by the TNSTC, a Division Bench, comprising Justice S.R. Singharavelu and Justice T. Sudanthiram, confirmed an order passed by the single judge to reinstate the driver in an alternative job with continuity of service and back wages since his removal in 2003.
The Bench declined to accept the Corporation’s contention that the driver was suffering from a congenital disorder as he was appointed to the job only after due medical examination.
“Such an argument cannot be put forth by the appellant because originally the respondent was appointed temporarily as driver in 1998 and he was made permanent in 1999 only after a medical examination,” it said.
The Judges recalled that the Supreme Court in Jaswant Singh Vs. State of Punjab (1996) held that employees ousted for physical deformities could exercise the option of receiving a lumpsum compensatory amount if an alternative job was not available immediately. Subsequently, they could be reinstated in service on paying back the money.
Similarly, another Division Bench of the Madras High Court recently ordered the reinstatement of an ousted employee as a helper.
In the present case, the ousted driver was willing to accept alternative post like helper, store keeper and so on.
Hence, the Corporation should reinstate him within two weeks, the Judges said.
The ousted driver, N. Arumugam, was removed from service on November 3, 2003 after being diagnosed of colour blindness during a medical check up.
The medical board had opined that he was not fit to occupy the post of a driver.
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