A Supreme Court Committee constituted to ensure that differently-abled persons have equal access to the apex court, has released two questionnaires to seek feedback from lawyers, activists, and litigants on the matter.

The Committee on Accessibility, formed under the chairmanship of Supreme Court judge Justice S Ravindra Bhat, has released the questionnaires, which are available on the apex court's website, to gather valuable feedback to enable it to identify areas that need improvement, said a apex court official on Wednesday.

"The Committee is working with a specific mandate to examine accessibility aspects related to the Supreme Court of India, and these questionnaires are a step in achieving that goal. The questionnaires are intended to gather feedback on all aspects of accessibility," the official said.

Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud constituted the committee in December last year. According to the court official, while the first questionnaire aims to gather inputs from individuals who have had interface with the Supreme Court of India, such as lawyers, litigants, employees, visitors, and law researchers, the second questionnaire is specifically for disability rights experts.

Last year, the committee was given a broad mandate to prepare and release a questionnaire for persons with disabilities, including the apex court employees, advocates, litigants, and interns, who visit the top court premises, to assess the nature and extent of problems they face.

According to a notice uploaded on the apex court website last year, the committee is tasked with preparing a report on the accessibility audit, result of the survey of persons with disability, and recommendations and proposals to remove the barriers to access.

The committee members, according to the notice, include Dr Sanjay Jain, professor of National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, Shakti Mishra, librarian nominated from the apex court, V Sridhar Reddy, advocate nominated by the Supreme Court Bar Association, and Nilesh Singit, independent accessibility expert nominated by the Centre for Disability Studies (NALSAR University of Law).

Additional registrar of the Supreme Court, Ajay Agrawal, is the member (secretary) of the committee. As per the notice, the committee would conduct an accessibility audit of the apex court premises and its functioning extending to both physical as well as technology accessibility.

With PTI Inputs