The Calcutta High Court emphasized that as parens patriae, the State cannot shrink its responsibility to care for citizens who are unable to care for themselves due to circumstances beyond their control.

The Court allowed the Petition and directed the Respondents/ State Government to aid the Petitioner with total disability in initiating his own business and to provide him a wheelchair for ease of mobility.

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya observed, “The State cannot shirk its responsibility as parens patriae, having liability to look after citizens who are not able to look after themselves for some reason or the other beyond their own control”.

Advocate Sutirtha Nayek appeared on behalf of the Petitioner.

The Petitioner was a citizen of India with a total disability, and his 'Disability Certificate' depicted that he could not perform daily tasks due to 'Posttraumatic Paraplegia'. An order was given for the Respondents to submit a report indicating if there are any schemes in place for the economic rehabilitation of disabled adults and at what stage of implementation they are. The State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities wrote to Respondent, requesting that the Petitioner be given the benefits of the "Scheme for Economic Rehabilitation for the Adult Persons with Disabilities, 2011".

The Court expressed concern over the State’s palpably nonchalant attitude in repeatedly abstaining from hearing the matter. The Court further directed the Respondents to file a report indicating the possibility and the stage of implementation of any scheme intended for economic rehabilitation for adult persons with disabilities.

The Court held that the state is responsible for looking after the citizens who cannot look after themselves. The Court noted that the recommendations of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities were valid and legitimate.

In such view of the matter, WPA No. 6653 of 2022 is allowed, thereby directing the respondent no. 5 to immediately implement the communication dated August 13, 2020 annexed at page 45, by providing the petitioner a wheel chair under the Prosthetic Aids and Appliances Scheme of the Government of West Bengal as well as allocating a space/shop infrastructure near RIC Bazar Post Office, Baranagar, so that the petitioner can start some business with the help of his wheel chair”, the Court noted.

The Court instructed the Respondents that the entire exercise shall be concluded within two months from the date of the order.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Petition.

Cause Title: Palash Das v The State of West Bengal and others

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