#Inspiration

Court Clears Path For Visually Impaired Lawyer’s Judge Dreams

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In a progressive order, Madhya Pradesh High Court has paved the way for a visually challenged lawyer, Rashmi Thakur, who aspires to become a judge. The court has allowed her to take the exam later. The authorities will be holding the exam only for her in July. Conducting examination only for one candidate is an extraordinary step in itself.

Jabalpur-based Rashmi Thakur is 75% visually impaired since birth. In her prelims, she scored 85%. She fell short of the cut-off by 5%. She then decided to move the High Court. The court envisaged that her score was much more than the cut-off. Considering her conditions, she was also not allowed to use any writer. The division bench of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V K Shukla ordered that another exam be held for her.

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Talking about how she managed to give her prelims, Thakur said, “I can write only if I keep the paper an inch away from my eyes. That is the limit of my vision. That’s how I gave my papers in school and colleges. That’s how I gave my online exam.”

Also: Visually Impaired Girl Cracks CAT, To Join IIM Ahmedabad

Thakur got her law degree in 2013 and started practising in court. However, she wanted to be a judge. She was inspired by Brahmanand Sharma, who was Rajasthan’s first visually impaired judge. This motivated her and kept her going. “I always wanted to be a judge. In 2016, when I read about Brahmanand Sharma of Rajasthan, a visually-impaired person like me making it to judicial services in his state, I saw a ray of hope,” Rashmi said.

The court didn’t provide reservation to visually impaired candidates. She wasn’t allowed to use a writer (scrubber in legal terms). However, this didn’t deter her from pursuing her dream of becoming a judge.

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In 2017, Thakur applied the exam as a general candidate. After her petition in HC, the bench has also ordered reservation for visually impaired candidates.

Thakur shares that Justice Gupta was impressed by seeing her dedication and her efforts. She said, “It is not a personal victory for me. All my visually-impaired brethren have won. They will now be provided with a scrubber and also get the benefit of reservation.”

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