Supreme Court Explored Possibility Of
Accommodating Engineer With Colour
Blindness In Employment Of TANGEDCO

The Supreme Court has served and asked the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation to inform it how an engineer with color blindness could be accommodated in his post due to the nature of his qualification in the case Mohamed Ibrahim v. the Chairman and Mandated Senior Directors and Officers. The court requested that the state corporation file an affidavit in this regard. The bench, comprising Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Dipankar Datta, was hearing a Special Leave Petition filed against the order of the Madras High Court, wherein the court upheld the decision to terminate the appointment of the petitioner to the post of assistant engineer on the ground that he had defective vision. In the present case, the petitioner did not have the benchmark disability, which would have entitled the petitioner to the benefits under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. The said court took into consideration the peculiar situation that the petitioner would find himself in if his termination was to be totally upheld. The court has held in its opinion that, as a result of the impugned judgment, there is every likelihood of the petitioner being stuck, in a limbo as it were, because the petitioner would not be considered as a person with disability under the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, on the one hand, due to the nature of that enactment’s coverage, and on the other hand, the petitioner may be unable to In its order, the Supreme Court stated that the court is of the opinion that the employer (respondent) should consider to what extent the petitioner can also be accommodated in the same post with some responsibilities, having regard to the nature of his qualification, which is either in policy or at planning levels, etc. In the said case, the petitioner was being discharged from service on May 14, 2020, after being selected and appointed to the post of assistant engineer in 2015. On March 30, 2017, he joined the service as well. Before the court, it has also been revealed that during the course of his medical examination, the petitioner was found to be color blind. Therefore, the petitioner, on two occasions, referred to separate medical experts who confirmed his condition of defective color vision. Subsequently, the respondent-employer (TANGEDCO) sought to initiate proceedings alleging that he had withheld induction with regard to his inadequacy in physical fitness. Further, the petitioner approached the Madras High Court, wherein the court allowed the writ petition and directed the respondent-employer to re-examine the issue and refer the candidate to another medical board. The same was done by the employer, pursuant to this medical report, and the court terminated the service of the petitioner. However, the said matter came up before the Division Bench of the High Court, wherein the court set aside the earlier order. As a result, the division bench, believing that the employer had considered all relevant facts regarding the nature of the duties to be discharged in relation to the post, i.e., assistant engineer, held by the petitioner, and Advocate A. Velan, the Advocate on Record who also appeared for the petitioner in the SLP, 

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