Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Supreme Court seeks Social Justice Ministry response on implementation of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act

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The Supreme Court has asked the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to respond in a public interest litigation (PIL) which seeks the formation of district-level committees for enforcing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. 

A Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha have said that the plea raises an important role of district level committees to comply with law.

It further asked to issue notice to the Centre and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. it has instructed for Counter to be filed within a month dealing with specific issues raised regarding lack of proper implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.

Affidavit shall give details on State-wise compliance. Union to also hold a meeting of all concerned ministries of State governments and State advisory boards with a view to eliciting present status of compliance.”

The PIL apprises that how in India’s the basic infrastructure to meet the needs of about 3 crore people with disabilities is ‘visibly absent’,. It has requested the Apex court for taking judicial notice of the same.

The plea also asks the States for framing and notifying relevant Rules as mandated under Sections 72 and 101(2) of the 2016 Act.

The petitioner has also asked seek for the formation of a district-level committees (DLCs) to enforce the various provisions of the Act.

The plea states that the differential treatment to those differently-situated is an aspect of the right to equality, and that the Act codifies the rights of the specially-abled to live with dignity.It added that the effect is a de facto deprivation of their rights.”

The plea also points that Andhra Pradesh has not even formulated draft rules in this regard, while West Bengal has not notified the same.

Giving a detailed mapping the PIL stated that out of the 8 Union Territories in India, Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry do not seem to have framed any rules.

It added that the states of Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli Daman & Diu, and Ladakh have yet to formalise the draft rules framed by them and notify it.

Talking about the states the PIL mentioned that out of 36 states and union territories (combined), 14 of them have not constituted any DLC.

“…Gujarat, Kerala, Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, and Chandigarh in their replies have confirmed that DLCs have not been constituted so far in all the districts. In fact, except Meghalaya, almost all States are in default.”

Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan who appeared from respondent side has been asked for assisting the respondents, in the matter.

The plea was drawn by Advocate Akshay Sahay and filed though Advocate A Karthik, who appeared for the petitioners along with Advocate K Parameshwar.

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