The Delhi High Court has asked the city transport corporation to explain how it appointed a colour-blind person as a driver and allowed him to drive its buses for three years.
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said the matter was extremely serious since it involved public safety and it was “very disheartening” to witness the “negligence” on the part of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
Lamenting the “sorry state of affairs”, Justice Singh asked the DTC chairperson to file a personal affidavit after due investigation and state the details of the officer responsible for the recruitment made in 2008.
The court passed the order on a petition by the DTC concerning the services of the colour-blind driver who was terminated in January 2011 due to an accident.
Colour-blind people are unable to differentiate between colours, especially green and red.
“The petitioner authority should have acted with due care and caution in ensuring that its driver is fit in all aspects to be appointed to the said position. Hence, this Court wants to now apprise itself of the fact as to why and under what circumstances, the petitioner department had appointed the respondent without considering the public safety since such actions may cause serious implications to the public safety,” the court said in a recent order.
“It is a very appalling situation that the respondent was appointed as driver with the petitioner department as well as allowed to drive the buses of the petitioner department since his appointment in the year 2008 till 2011 i.e. for 3 years,” the court remarked.
On being asked as to how a person suffering from colour blindness at the time of recruitment was appointed as a driver, the court was informed it was done on the basis of a medical certificate issued by Guru Nanak Hospital.
It was added that more than 100 people suffering from colour blindness were appointed, prompting constitution of an independent medical board in 2013.
The court said the corporation’s decision to rely on a medical certificate submitted by the candidate was a “wrongful action” and contrary to the medical test certificate issued by its own medical department.
“The petitioner department has unfortunately not taken into account whether the respondent is medically fit for the position for which he was employed for and did not even take any action against the respondent and other 100 persons who were appointed on the basis of the report of the Guru Nanak Eye Centre,” the court said.
“This Court observes that it is a sorry state of affairs that the petitioner woke up only in the year 2013 from its deep slumber and finally constituted an independent medical board on 13th April, 2013 for examination of the medical fitness of the respondent,” the court said.
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