Delhi High Court on Thursday sought a response from Jawaharlal Nehru University and other respondents on a plea challenging the admission procedure of the university for the academic year 2020-21. The petition filed by Javed Abidi foundation, which works for the education for disabled people, said that JNU has kept less than five percent seats reserved for PWD (People with a disability) category for admission for the academic session 2020-21.

It stated that by the perusal of the said e-prospectus published by JNU, the seats reserved for PWD category are as low as 2.5 percent in some categories. In fact, the total number of seats reserved for PWDs comes to only 4.86 percent. A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notices to all the respondents and slated the matter for further hearing on June 26.

The foundation approached the High Court seeking direction to JNU to modifying the impugned admission policy and e-prospectus consistent with the RPWD Act, 2016, and reserve seats not less than 5 percent of the total number of seats for PWD candidates. It sought directions to compute the seats reserved for PWD candidates on the basis of the total number of seats without dividing them between different schools and centres.

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Advocate Sanchita, appearing for the petitioner, also sought directions to the Ministry of Human Resources Development and Ministry of Social Justice Empowerment to issue instructions to all Government institutions of higher education and other higher education institutions receiving aid from the government stating that the non-observance of the scheme of reservation of persons with disabilities would be considered as an act of disobedience and strict action would be taken against those institutions.

It is aggrieved by the violation of the rights guaranteed to the persons of disabilities under the Constitution and Section 32 of the Disabilities Act which makes it mandatory for all government institutions of higher education and other higher education institutions receiving aid from the government to reserve not less than five percent seats for persons with benchmark disabilities, the plea said.

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