Court of Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities today delivered two landmark judgments that are poised to significantly impact our society and reshape attitudes towards Divyangjan (persons with disabilities) on a large scale.
Case No. 14580/1101/2023: In a pivotal ruling, the Court mandated that any government office in the country, be it at the central, state, or local government level, operating from buildings or premises that are not accessible to Divyangjan, must relocate their services to the ground floor or another accessible location within the same facility. This decision underscores the commitment to ensuring equitable access to government services for all citizens, including those with disabilities.
Case No. 14061/1141/2023: In response to a complaint by Ms. Smrithy Rajesh regarding the ill-treatment of her son, who has Autism, at Bangalore Airport by Sri Lankan Airlines, the Court took Suo moto cognizance. The Court’s findings revealed a lack of awareness and sensitivity towards the needs of individuals with disabilities on the part of airline employees and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Furthermore, the Court highlighted that Sri Lankan Airlines’ policy, if it necessitates medical clearance for select categories of persons with disabilities before boarding a flight, is inconsistent with global Civil Aviation Requirements.
Additionally, the Court emphasized that all airlines, whether Indian or foreign, operating in the country are responsible for implementing the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, specifically outlined in sections 40 and 41, along with relevant rules and instructions. This underscores the importance of adhering to both the letter and spirit of the law to ensure the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities are protected.
These two judgments mark a significant step towards promoting inclusivity and safeguarding the rights of Divyangjan in India. The decisions reflect the commitment of the Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities to create a more accessible and equitable society for all.