LAHORE: The remarkable decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) to ensure due share for visually impaired Central Superior Services (CSS) qualified candidates is getting recognition as it is printed in braille for the real beneficiaries.
On March 10, LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued a judgment which struck down provisions of the Rules of Competitive Examination 2014 that barred visually-impaired CSS qualified individuals from joining the Foreign Service of Pakistan (FSP).
Aziz Jehan Begum Trust for the Blind, a nonprofit organisation, arranged the braille print of the judgment to make it easy for beneficiaries to read. A copy of the braille print of the judgment is available with the trust office.
This was stated by the chief operating officer of the trust to the LHC CJ through a letter last week. Appreciating the judgment, he said the organisation arranged the braille print of this landmark judgment to make it available for every visually-impaired person.
The 30-page judgment has 40 paragraphs and was approved for reporting. Through this judgment, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ordered the federal government to allocate seats to the two visually-impaired petitioners in the FSP at the earliest.
He said if no such posts were available, then the concerned quarters should create two new posts to adjust the petitioners to uphold their fundamental rights and redress the unconstitutional deprivation they have been facing since 2014 after being compelled to join the Information Group.
The chief justice had ruled that while Rule 9(ii) of the CSS rules 2014 has been struck down, the government should formulate rules to offer all or any occupational services to disabled persons in the All-Pakistan Service after thoroughly assessing the possibility of providing reasonable accommodation before the next CSS exam.
The court passed this order on a petition of Muhammad Yousaf and Faisal Majeed – both visually impaired persons – who appeared in the 2014 CSS examination.
Majeed secured 12th position in Pakistan and his first preference was the Pakistan Administration Services (PAS); however, he fell at serial number 11. After failing the All Pakistan Merit Quota of the PAS, which includes two seats, he stood at serial no9 against the PAS quota for Punjab which has 11 seats.
Yousuf secured 22nd position and the FSP was his first preference. He stood at serial no 4, but after failing the All Pakistan Merit Quota in the FSP – which has one seat – Faisal stood at serial no3 of the FSP group against eight seats allocated to Punjab on open merit.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2017.