The Supreme Court on Monday said that the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, remains dismal across India as it issued directions to states to start complying with the Act, reported Live Law.

A bench of Chief Justice Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala was hearing a petition seeking the enforcement of the rights of persons with disabilities by implementing the law across states.

The petitioner is a member of a group called Together We Can, a forum for parents, professionals and other stakeholders working for the rights of children with disabilities. Advocate K Parameshwar, appearing for the petitioners, cited a compliance report on the status of implementation of the Act.

According to the report, Section 79 of the Act pertaining to appointment of state commissioners has not been implemented in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Punjab, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. It was also not implemented in the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Chandigarh.

The state commissioners under the law are tasked with identifying concerns of disabled persons and taking corrective actions to ensure their rights are not denied.

On Monday, the bench directed the chief secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Tripura and Chandigarh to appoint state commissioners by June 30.

Under the Act, states are mandated to form a committee to conduct research on the topic of disability. They must also prescribe the salary, allowances and other terms of services of the state commissioner.

“The RPwD [Rights of Persons with Disabilities] Act came into force on April 19, 2016… yet the implementation of RPwD across the country is still in a dismal state,” the court said, reported Live Law. “We are of the view that the status of the implementation of the act needs to be set right.”

The bench directed the Department of Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to take up this matter with all its members and update the court with a status of compliance on the next date of hearing in July.

Parameshwar also told the court that Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Mizoram, West Bengal, Delhi, Daman Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh have not followed Section 88 of the law pertaining to the setting up of a State Fund for persons with disabilities.

The bench also noted that special courts to ensure speedy trials in cases involving persons with disabilities have not been set up in Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal, reported PTI. In Chhattisgarh and Daman and Diu, public prosecutors have not been appointed in these courts.

Also read: Disability inclusion starts with changing societal attitudes