In a bid to foil any probable incidents of discrimination against the disabled or divyangs central government employees, the Narendra Modi Government has issued clarification on the VRS scheme of the disabled central government employees. Now, a central government servant turning disabled during its service period will have the option of continuing in service with the same pay scale and service benefits. In case a disabled Government servant reconsiders his decision and withdraws the notice for voluntary retirement, his case shall be dealt with the aforesaid provisions of Section 20 of RPWD Act, 2016.

the latest DoPT Office Memorandum in regard to the VRS scheme for the disabled central government employees says, “The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s OM of even no. dated 19.05.2015 on the subject noted above regarding the treatment of VRS notice given by a Government servant on medical grounds or on account of disability. In this regard, it is stated that the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (PWD Act) has been repealed by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD Act, 2016), which came into force on 19th April, 2017. Hence, section 47 of PWD Act, 1995 as stated in DoPT’s O.M. of even no. 19.05.2015 is replaced by the provisions of section 20 of the RPWD Act, 2016.”

The DoPT Office Memorandum clarified that in regard to Section 20 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgement in case of Bhagwan Dass & anr vs Punjab State Electricity Board (2008) 1 Scc 579, it is stated that whenever a Government servant seeks voluntary retirement citing medical grounds, or when the said VRS notice has been submitted due to a disability, the Administrative authorities shall examine as to whether the case is covered under Section 20 (4) of RPWD Act, 2016.

“In case the provisions are applicable, the Government servant shall be advised that he/she has the option of continuing in service with the same pay scale and service benefits. In case a disabled Government servant reconsiders his decision and withdraws the notice for voluntary retirement, his case shall be dealt with the aforesaid provisions of Section 20 of RPWD Act, 2016. If however, in spite of being so advised, such Government servants still wish to take voluntary retirement, the request may be processed as per the applicable rules,” the DoPT concluded.