Supreme Court Issues Notice To Centre On Plea Seeking Enforcement Of Right Of Person With Disabilities Act
The Supreme Court on Friday issued Notice and directed the Union Government to convene a meeting of all states concerned and State Advisory Boards with a view to eliciting the present status of compliance with the Right of Person with Disabilities Act, 2016.
A Bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice P.S. Narasimha was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the forum for parents, professionals, and other stakeholders dealing with the rights of children with disabilities seeking to enforce the rights of persons with disabilities guaranteed under the Constitution of India and codified in the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.
“We direct that notice shall be issued to the Union of India in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The Union Ministry shall file a counter affidavit within a period of a month. The affidavit shall indicate the status of implementation of the Act state wise”, ordered the Supreme Court.
"[W]e direct the Union Government to convene a meeting of all the concerned Ministries of the State Governments and the State Advisory Boards with a view to eliciting the present status of compliance. The meeting may also consider setting up a dashboard in order to elicit real-time information on the status of implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016", read the Order.
The Court clarified that at this stage it is not inclined to issue notices to all the states and based on the affidavit of the Union, it will decide whether or not to issue notices to all the states.
The Apex Court has sought assistance from Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan in the matter. Advocate K. Parameshwar assisted by Akshay Sahay and A. Karthik, Advocate-on-Record appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of the petitioners
The Petitioners approached the Supreme Court for the constitution of the District Level Committee (DLC) in each district of India. They were aggrieved with the State’s failure to adequately implement the provisions provided under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The non-constitution of DLC results in a “de-facto breach of fundamental rights” of the persons with disabilities, they said.
“Currently, India’s basic infrastructure to meet the needs of persons with disabilities is so visibly absent that this Hon’ble Court can even take judicial notice thereof”, said the plea. In India, as per the 2011 Census, the population of persons with disabilities was over 2.68 crores.
Section 72 of the RPwD Act envisages the constitution of a ‘District-Level Committee’ (DLC) for each district. These DLCs are meant to comprise state officials and respectable members of the local community. Having a grassroot-level supervisory body like the DLC in place can be the safest way to ensure enforcement of the provisions of a statute, said the plea.
Cause Title- Seema Girija Lal and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors.