HC stays PwD chief’s appointment

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Tuesday passed an interim order staying the appointment of the new State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).

The court has posted the next hearing in the case on March 31.

The Odisha government had appointed well-known social activist Dr Minati Behera as the new PwD Commissioner in April last year.

The appointment of Behera was approved by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who chose her among three names recommended by the Search Committee for the post.

Behera’s appointment had drawn sharp criticism from various quarters after physically challenged people and their families demanded cancellation of the appointment alleging that the government overlooked the vital eligibility criteria while selecting Behera as the Commissioner.

They had alleged that Behera is neither a person with disability nor does she have any experience of working among people with disability. She has been politically rehabilitated, they had said.