Ensure Enabling Environment For Disabled Persons: HC

SRINAGAR — The J&K High Court has directed government to ensure that an enabling environment is created in Jammu and Kashmir for all the disabled persons.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by one Javed Ahmad Tak, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar passed the direction after perusal of a status report filed on behalf of the Department of Social Welfare, J&K Government, in which reference has been made about the facilities being extended to the disabled persons in the State.

“Apart from the Government Scheme and measures, it is essential to ensure that an enabling environment is created in the State of Jammu and Kashmir for all the disabled persons,” the court said, adding, “We find that in paragraph 6 of the status report, it is mentioned that the Government of India has approved and released Rs. 42.74 lacs for creation of barrier free environment in seven buildings located in the State of J&K. Moreso, DPRs of 16 more buildings are stated to have been submitted to the Government of India recently.”

The court asked government’s social welfare department to place before it the details of the creation of facilities which are to be designated for persons with disabilities.

“Moreover, there is an essential need that Academic Institutions provide an enabling environment for the disabled persons,” the court said and directed that University of Kashmir and Central University Kashmir shall be arrayed as party respondents in the instant petition through their respective Registrars. “Registry shall issue notice to the newly arrayed respondents without any process fee. Notice issued shall indicate that they shall submit a status report on the above issues, on or before the next date of hearing”

The court also appointed Ms. Moksha Kazmi, Advocate of this Court as Amicus Curiae for assistance in the matter.  

“Let a copy of the status report be furnished to the Member Secretary, J&K State Legal Service Authority. The status report shall also be circulated to all the Secretaries, District Legal Services Authorities, who shall ensure that the benefits of the Schemes mentioned therein are informed and provided to the every disabled person in the State,” the court added.


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