In the current matter, the Gujarat High Court has issued notice in pleas challenging the inaction of the Gujarat Social Justice Department in filling up vacancies in Grant-in Aid institutions established for the welfare of underprivileged and differently abled persons.
The petitioners have now approached the High Court with the following prayers, i.e.
In the matter at hand, Justice Bhargav D Karia issued notice in the application. Four special civil applications on the issue have been filed before the High Court. As a matter of fact, the four petitioners in the matter are:
The applications highpoint that Grant-in Aid Code (Gujarat), 1992 provides for the maintenance of staff in Grant-in Aid institutions such as petitioners'. However, over the years, the lackadaisical approach by State authorities in filling in staff vacancies have resulted in severe staff shortages, even leading to the petitioners employing staff bearing expenses from their own pockets. As submitted by the petitioners,
"Due to inaction on part of the Respondents in deciding these applications and/or not approving the suggested names, the situation as of today is that these recognized programs working towards the betterment, education, accommodation, etc. of special and disabled children/ people are suffering...
In order to salvage the situation and see to it that no impediment of whatsoever nature is caused to the projects undertaken, the Petitioner is functioning the said projects by employing its own staff and paying them out of their own pocket, thereby rendering the whole concept of 100% Grant-in Aid institution nugatory and a mere paper arrangement. The Petitioner is thus faced with an unwarranted financial burden inspite of being a Grant-in Aid Institution."
Accumulation to the problem, the Government also began abolishing long-vacant staff posts in these Grant-in Aid institutions, without offering any reason for the same. The petitioners contend that this has entailed in a violation of various provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act that call for the upliftment of differently abled persons. In this regard, the applications states,
"The Respondents have apart from not approving these posts, have brazenly with the stroke of a pen abolished the posts which were lying vacant. No reasoning worth the name has been provided to justify as to why these posts, which are sanctioned by the Respondents themselves and are imperative for the functioning of the projects being undertaken by Petitioner are abolished ....
Due to non-appointment of adequate staff at the projects/ programs, there is direct deprecation on the education of the disabled/ special children, thereby clearly violating the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016."
Therefore, the notice in the matter has been issued returnable by December 18 as per the directions. As a crux of the matter in hand the plea before Gujarat HC was pertaining to failure to appoint staff in Grant-in Aid institutions violates PWD Act, 2016 matter.