The Supreme Court on Wednesday criticised the Centre for not complying with its 2017 order to ensure that public institutions are disabled-friendly. It said the government must abide by the law, warning that the court will summon chief secretaries of states concerned to explain the delay, reported PTI.
In an order on December 15, 2017, the top court had passed 11 directions, which included making public and educational institutions and transport disabled-friendly. The court said it was mandatory to provide safe and proper access to roads, buildings, transport and public places to enable the disabled persons to live with dignity and contribute to the nation’s progress.
A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand to describe the work done by the government in this regard in a fresh and detailed affidavit to be filed within four weeks. “We have not said anything new in our verdict of December 15, 2017,” the bench said. “It was your [Centre’s] law and we just asked you to comply with it. We are not running the government. It’s you who has to follow the law and the order.”
Hearing a fresh petition seeking to make the judiciary disabled-friendly, particularly for those who are visually impaired, the court issued notices to the secretary general of the Supreme Court and registrars general of all High Courts.
The court said every citizen has the right to dignity, and it applies much more vigorously in the case of those with disabilities. It was the duty of the state and the public authorities to lay down the rules, it said.
The Supreme Court’s other directions included that under provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, all government buildings providing public service should be made fully accessible to people with disabilities by June next year.