Bhavneet Singh vs IRCON International Limited through Chairman and Managing Director that the Persons with Disabilities are not subjected to harassment by being transferred or posted at places where they cannot get an environment being conducive for their working.

First and foremost, it is important to note that the Delhi High Court, in a highly esteemed, groundbreaking, and recent ruling titled Bhavneet Singh vs. IRCON International Limited through Chairman and Managing Director & Ors in W.P.(C) 12404/2022, CM APPL. Nos. 37256/2022 & 10458/2023 and cited in Neutral Citation No.: 2023:DHC:9447, which was rendered as recently as December 15, 2023, has unambiguously held that the State must make sure that individuals with disabilities are not harassed by being transferred or posted to locations that are inappropriate. get an environment that is conducive for their working. We see that the Court observed thus in a writ petition that had been filed by an orthopaedically handicapped person against IRCON International Limited.

The State shall take measures to prevent the unwarranted and persistent harassment of Persons with Disabilities by transferring or posting them to locations where they cannot find a work environment that is supportive of their needs. Additionally, it seeks to guarantee that the necessary medical facilities, among other things, are available to Persons with Disabilities at their advertised location. Thus, it is clear that the Delhi High Court correctly granted the petition and reversed the transfer decision.

To put things in perspective, the Single Judge Bench comprising of Hon’ble Mr Justice Chandra Dhari Singh while dwelling on the facts of the case envisages in para 2 that:
The facts leading to the instant petition are as follows:

  1. Petitioner is an orthopedically Handicapped person with 72% locomotor disability and the respondent no. 1, IRCON International Ltd. is a Government company incorporated by Central Government (Ministry of Railways) under the Companies Act, 1956. The respondent no. 1 is a leading turnkey construction company in public sector and 86% of it’s shares are held by the Ministry of Railways. The respondent No.2 is currently posted at respondent no. 1 and the respondent No.3 is currently posted at respondent no.1.
  2. On 15th December 2017, the petitioner joined as Deputy Manager HRM at Human Resource Management Department in the respondent no.1’s corporate office and was subsequently transferred from the respondent no.1’s corporate office to it’s wholly owned subsidiary vide office order no. 131/2020 dated 30th March 2020.
  3. The respondent’s Corporate Office vide Office Order No 139/2020 dated 10th April 2020 and took over the charge of respondent no.1’s wholly owned subsidiary w.e.f. 11th April 2020.
  4. On 18th January 2022, the petitioner initiated representation before the Competent Authority to challenge promotion of the petitioner in the respondent organization through e-office which was rejected on 2nd March 2022 and the petitioner’s request to consider his candidature for the promotion was dismissed.
  5. On 9th March 2022, the petitioner was transferred from Ircon ISL, Noida to respondent no.1’s Corporate Office vide Office order number IISL 6/2022. The petitioner’s filed complaint before the Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities against IRCON for non-adherence with the legal provisions under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
  6. The petitioner further filed a Representation-cum-Demand for Justice Petition on 18th July 2022 before the respondent no.1 through its counsel against denial of promotion to the petitioner but no response.
  7. A Show-cause notice was issued to the petitioner on 8th August 2022 on the basis of pseudonymous/anonymous complaint received by the Department and the petitioner was asked to furnish an explanation for not applying for leave and for not marking attendance via biometric card.
  8. In August 2022, the petitioner was again transferred from respondent no.1’s Corporate Office, Saket to Chhattisgarh Rail Project.
  9. Hence, the petitioner herein being aggrieved by the impugned orders of transfer dated 22nd August 2022 and the order of relieving dated 23rd August 2022 passed by the respondent no. 1 has filed the instant writ petition.

Do note, the Bench notes in para 4 that:
It is submitted that the Chief Commissioner noted that individuals with disabilities shouldn’t be denied their legal rights in the analogous case of Mr. Sandeep Sharma, a person with a 50% visual impairment who was also employed as an AM (HRM) in respondent no. 1. This case was transferred to the Chhattisgarh Rail Project. Eventually, Mr. Sandeep Sharma was returned to Delhi by the respondent organisation. The respondents in this instance have behaved in the same way as the petitioner, even though they are aware of the law’s position and the illegality of their actions.

It deserves mentioning that the Bench after hearing the learned counsel for the parties and perusing the records specifies in para 28 that:
The petitioner argues that, as a person with special needs, she should not be transported to Chhattisgarh because doing so would subject her to unwarranted harassment and health problems. Because of his unique and serious medical condition, the petitioner would be denied access to ongoing medical care and care.

Be it noted, the Bench notes in para 32 that:
The key objectives of The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, is as follows:

  • To make the State obligated for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, provide them with the requisite medical care, education, training, employment, etc.
  • To create a conducive environment for the learning and growth of the person with disabilities.
  • To ensure that there is no discrimination against the persons with disabilities and they are being equally given the opportunity like any enabled person.

In hindsight, the Bench point out in para 33 that:
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006. India signed and ratified the treaty, therefore the country passed new legislation to fulfil its obligations under the CRPD. As a result, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 was passed by Parliament in 2016.

Most significantly, the Bench mandates in para 41 that:
The state must make sure that people with disabilities are not moved to locations that do not provide an environment that is suitable for their job, or exposed to needless and persistent harassment. It also attempts to guarantee that the necessary medical facilities, among other things, are available to the Persons with Disabilities in the location where they are stationed.

It cannot be lost on us that the Bench while going through the petitioner’s case very rightly observes in para 45 that:
The petitioner has argued in front of this court that he needs medical care, and that such can only be given to him in his current posting location in Delhi. Given that the petitioner has been under the care of a paramedical professional for the past seven years and wears a knee-length prosthetic in his left leg known as an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO), which requires regular maintenance due to wear and tear, the petitioner must visit the clinic/workshop located in Delhi.

In addition, the Bench hastens to add in para 46 stating that:
In addition, the petitioner has been receiving guidance from a neurologist at Fortis Hospital in Noida for over ten years. In order to monitor degenerative changes occurring in his spine, he must have MRIs of the C- and L-spine, as well as other diagnostic procedures as ordered by his orthopaedic physician.

While citing the relevant provisions and the relevant case laws, the Bench then propounds in para 47 that:
It is a well-established notion that the Court must guarantee that the values outlined in Articles 14, 15, 16, and 21 of the Indian Constitution are appropriately maintained while rendering a decision on such complex topics. The Court must also be particularly sensitive to the needs of individuals with disabilities. The Hon’ble Supreme Court reaffirmed the aforementioned concept in the following ruling in Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation v. Union of India, WP (C) NO. 116 of 1998, dated March 26, 2014:

In actuality, the government’s involvement in this kind of situation needs to be proactive. The executive branch must adopt a liberal, relief-focused approach when it comes to helping people with disabilities, rather than one that is obstructionist or lazy. A small amount of care for the members of this class who have disabilities can make a big difference in their lives and enable them to stand on their own and not depend on others. India, being a welfare state, has a responsibility to give particular consideration to the citizens who are members of the differently abled community. This is the actual grant of equal opportunity and true equality.

It is worth noting that the Bench notes in para 48 that:
This Court believes that in the present case, the petitioner should not be transferred to any other State due to the medical conditions and ongoing treatment that the petitioner is receiving, as this could potentially complicate matters.

As a corollary, the Bench then holds in para 49 that:
This Court feels that it is necessary to intervene and set aside the contested orders in light of the aforementioned discussions. Respondent No. 1 disregarded the petitioner’s unique needs and sent him to a remote location, in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Resultantly, the Bench directs in para 50 that:
As a result, the writ is granted, and the relieving order dated August 23, 2022, which is Office Order No. 645/2022 bearing no. IRCON/HRM/PF/10001610 passed by respondent No. 1 and transfers the petitioner to the Chhattisgarh Rail Project, and the transfer order dated August 22, 2022, which is Office Order No. 643/2022 bearing no. IRCON/HRM/TRANS/3121, are set aside.

What’s more, the Bench directs in para 51 that:
In light of this, any pending applications are also dismissed along with the current petition.

Finally, the Bench concludes by directing in para 52 that:
The order be uploaded on the website forthwith.

All things considered, it is evident that the Delhi High Court, in this seminal ruling, has spared no effort to establish unequivocally that the State will make sure that individuals with disabilities are not subjected to harassment by being transferred or posted to unsuitable environments. Therefore, there is no need to reiterate the State’s bounden obligation to ensure that the directives given by the Delhi High Court are carried out as strictly as possible to prevent people with disabilities from being forced to endure unbearable pain due to being posted or transferred to inappropriate locations. Unquestionably!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.


The following disclaimer governs the use of this website (“Website”) and the services provided by the Law offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates in accordance with the laws of India. By accessing or using this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

The information provided on this Website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or relied upon as such. The content of this Website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Firm. Any reliance on the information provided on this Website is done at your own risk.

The Law Firm makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on this Website.

The Law Firm disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for any actions taken in reliance on the information provided herein. The information contained in this website, should not be construed as an act of solicitation of work or advertisement in any manner.