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CHENNAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed a State Transport Corporation to employ as drivers two persons, including an ex-serviceman, who were not selected for the post on the ground that they were certified to be HIV positive.
Pronouncing the order on petitions filed by the two, Justice K. Chandru said there was no other disqualification expressed by the authorities in the records. The disqualification solely emanated from the medical certificate given by one medical practitioner.
One of the petitioners sought to quash the impugned order of November 2009 of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Madurai) Ltd, Virudhunagar region, and a consequent direction to the corporation to appoint him as driver. The other sought a direction to the authorities to appoint him as a driver in the corporation.
Mr. Justice Chandru cited the Centre's National Policy on HIV/AIDS which said there should be no discrimination, no screening for purpose of employment and confidentiality.
In the light of this, the action of the transport corporation in driving the petitioners to test for HIV itself was totally repugnant to the policy.
Their further attempt to deny them employment after having found HIV positive and holding them as unfit for employment was again not only unwarranted but also contrary to the dictum laid down by various courts and the Centre's policy.
He said a survey of court decisions and the national policy clearly showed that the course adopted by the transport corporation in denying employment to the two was not based on any scientific basis.
The transport corporation had only expressed layman apprehension with reference to the disease and not shown a scientific approach consistent with the principles laid down by courts.
Directing the transport corporation to employ the two as drivers, the Judge said that if the transport corporations still had an apprehension that the two were tested to be HIV positive, they could send them for the CD 4 test before their confirmation.
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