In recent times, it has been seen that proper attention has not given to the Rights of Disabled as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 by the authorities of government in Maharashtra. Bombay High Court has given a judgement recently for the protections of the rights of disabled.
Facts of the case
A division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice RI Chagla was hearing PILs filed by two NGOs together, All India Handicapped Development Foundation and Rashtriya Apang Vikas Mahasangh. These PILs emphasized on the proper implementation of provisions given to the persons with disabilities under the Indian Constitution. The core elements which were enhanced by them were equal opportunities provided to them, seats reserved in various departments and full participation in their capacity.
The eminent point was after the enactment of 2016 regarding the protection of rights of disabled still after 3 years the lack of sensibility towards them has not been reduced. The Court here observed that the reason behind this is unawareness about the rights provided to them and these rights cannot be deprived by the related authorities.
From the side of State of Maharashtra Advocate GW Mattos presented on the court that government is sincere and fully aware about the situation at ground level and would take all the necessary steps for the enforcement of the all the provisions stated as per enactment 2016.
The Court noted that though government taking steps for the fulfilment of all the provisions somewhere the highest authority must focus on making various departments aware about such facts and the other reason also noted for lack of application of rights of disabled is-
“This comes because there is no awareness of the fact that persons with disabilities have rights. These rights cannot be frustrated and defeated by a lacklustre attitude and refusal to implement the law, enacted by Parliament, in right earnest. That Law has to be implemented sincerely and all efforts will have to be made for the effective implementation and enforcement thereof. That is possible only when officials of the State and those in charge of municipal governance and civic affairs are enlightened enough and for that, the State would have to conduct and carry out training and awareness programmes.”
In the end, the court noted:
“The expectancy is that tomorrow’s Heads of Departments are made aware of this Legislation and particularly about the rights of disabled persons with disabilities. It is possible that a disabled or differently-abled person may not be aware of his/her rights but he/she should not be deprived of the necessary assistance and support because of lack of sensitivity of his/her colleagues and the public at large. We feel that holding of programmes for the awareness of the officers of the State should be made compulsory.”
The Court in this regard asked the State to take the help of the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority and lawyers involved in PILs filed on the issue, including Senior Counsel Gayatri Singh.
The further hearing has been postponed on 12 December 2019.
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