[AI] Supreme Court rues non-implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act

prasanth P.V. prasanth.mangalam72 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 6 20:45:40 EST 2011


Today's Paper » NATIONAL
NEW DELHI, January 7, 2011 Supreme Court rues non-implementation of
Persons with Disabilities Act
J. Venkatesan
Share  ·   print   ·   T+   Expressing serious concern that the
provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities,
Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 for the benefit
of the differently-abled had not been implemented so far, the Supreme
Court on Thursday warned the States of contempt action if the Act was
not implemented properly.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S.
Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar in a brief order said: “On
going through the provisions of the Act, prima facie, we are
dissatisfied that several important statutory duties have remained
non-compliant till date. We are not even sure as to whether the
Central Co-ordination Committee has been duly constituted under
Section 3 by the Central government, as provided in 1995 Act.”

Earlier senior counsel Colin Gonzalves, appearing for the petitioner
Rajive Raturi, submitted that that though several guidelines have been
framed under the Act for the benefit of the differently-abled, neither
the Centre nor the States showed interest in implementing the same. He
said that though the National Building Code and the Central Public
Works Department had framed guidelines for creating special facilities
for differently-abled persons at public places such as railway
stations, bus terminus, airports, trains, buses and aircraft, till
date no such facility had been created.

The Bench in its order directed the Centre to provide the following
information within four weeks: “Whether the Central Coordination
Committee has been constituted under Section 3 of 1995 Act. If not, we
would like to know within what period the said Committee would be
constituted in accordance with the Act.; If Central Co-ordination
Committee has been constituted, whether such Committee has given
directions/guidelines to the State Coordination Committees under 1995
Act.

“If such guidelines exist, they should be annexed to the affidavit. We
also want to know whether any funds have been disbursed to the State
Co-ordination Committees. If so, whether utilisation certificates have
been issued by the State government from time to time.”

The Bench said: “This order is strictly based on the provisions of
1995 Act, particularly, Sections 3, 8, 13 and 18 and the provisions of
Chapters VII and VIII of 1995 Act. We make it clear that if the States
do not enforce the National Building Code of India as well as the
guidelines issued by the Central Public Works Department, we would be
taking contempt proceedings, for which the petitioner(s) could move
before this Court.”


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