Mental disorders: India
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Workplace discrimination, right against: SC
Mental disability | Supreme Court sets aside disciplinary action
However, the court discovered that the appellant had a history of depression and categorised with up to 70% disability
The Supreme Court has held that disciplinary proceedings against a person with mental disability amounts to indirect discrimination.
“The mental disability impairs the ability of persons to comply with workplace standards in comparison to their able-bodied counterparts. Such persons suffer a disproportionate disadvantage due to the impairment and are more likely to be subjected to disciplinary proceedings. Thus, the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against persons with mental disabilities is a facet of indirect discrimination,” a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud observed in a recent judgment.
The court held that such a person is protected under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act provided the discrimination was triggered by the disability.
The judgment came in an appeal filed by Ravinder Kumar Dhariwal, an assistant commandant in Central police force, who was accused of using offensive language, of appearing in the media without prior approval and assault.
However, the court discovered that the appellant had a history of depression and categorised with up to 70% disability.
Setting aside the disciplinary action against him, the court protected his pay and emoluments and gave the authorities the discretion to assign him a job which does not require use or control of fire arms.