New OxHRH Blog Series Out! Development of Disability Rights in the Indian Supreme Court

Image of several Indian children, one of them holding a book which reads 'Disability Rights' against an urban landscape in India showing the divide of high rises and slums.


In a significant judgment delivered in February 2021, a three-judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court made a seminal contribution in advancing disability rights jurisprudence in India and globally. At issue in Vikash Kumar v. Union Public Service Commission was the refusal of the Union Public Service Commission, the organization tasked with conducting India’s much-coveted civil service examinations, to offer the petitioner a scribe [writer] for his exam. The petitioner is affected by writer’s cramp, a writing disorder, and asked for a scribe for this reason.

The Supreme Court held that the petitioner was entitled to the grant of a scribe as a matter of right, as this constituted a reasonable accommodation [RA]. Equally importantly, the Court used the judgment as an opportunity to offer significant and far-reaching observations on several key themes that lie at the heart of the disability rights movement. Some such observations particularly repay close study, as they are transferable to human rights claims that may be brought by other minority groups in different jurisdictions. Oxford Human Rights Hub has published an extensive series ‘The Development of Disability Rights in the Indian Supreme Court’  which explore the different aspects of the judgment.

Read the series here