SC allows scribe for candidates suffering from writer’s cramp

Writer’s cramp is a type of focal dystonia—a neurologic movement disorder—that affects one’s fingers, hand, or forearm

SC allows scribe for candidates suffering from writer’s cramp

Photo for representation. — iStock

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 11

Holding that writer’s cramp can be considered as a disability, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that those suffering from it were entitled to take scribe to write competitive examinations, including Civil Services Examinations.

Writer’s cramp is a type of focal dystonia—a neurologic movement disorder—that affects one’s fingers, hand, or forearm. The patient’s brain sends incorrect information to the muscles, causing involuntary, excessive muscle contractions making his/her hands twist into odd postures.

A Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud asked the Centre to frame guidelines in three months to protect the rights of disabled students and enable them to write all competitive examinations with help of a scribe in tune with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

The ruling came on a petition filed by Vikas Kumar, an MBBS graduate, who suffered from Writer’s Cramp and was denied a scribe by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as the rules allowed only candidates with locomotor disability and cerebral palsy to have a scribe.

“To confine the facility of a scribe only to those who have benchmark disabilities would be to deprive a class of persons of their statutorily recognised entitlements. To do so would be contrary to the plain terms as well as the object of the Act,” the top court said.

The Bench said it was neither a largesse nor a privilege and the provision for a scribe was in tune with the mandate of the Disability Act to ensure that persons with disabilities were able to live a life of equality and dignity based on respect in society.

The Centre had contended that it could be potentially misused.

However, the top court said, “When competent persons with disabilities are unable to realise their full potential due to the barriers posed in their path, our society suffers, as much, if not more, as do the disabled people involved. In their blooming and blossoming, we all bloom and blossom.”

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