The Supreme Court today slammed the Centre over non-compliance of its last year verdict of making public institutions disabled-friendly and said the government had to follow the law and order. The top court also expressed annoyance over the states not complying with its order and warned that respective chief secretaries will be called to explain the delay. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked the Centre to file a fresh affidavit within four weeks giving details of the steps taken so far and the timeline for completing the work as given in its December 15, 2017 verdict.
“We have not said anything new in our verdict of December 15, 2017. It was your (Centre) law and we just asked you to comply with it. We are not running the government. It’s you who has to follow the law and the order,” the bench said. Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand said she will file an affidavit in this regard in four weeks, adding that a lot of work has been done in pursuance to the court’s direction.
The bench, however, said that the Centre should file a detailed affidavit. The apex court, in a fresh petition seeking to make judiciary disabled-friendly, especially for visually impaired people, issued notices to the registrar generals of all high courts and the secretary general of the Supreme Court. The top court had on December 15, 2017 passed 11 directions which include making public institutions, transport and educational institutions disabled-friendly.
It said it was imperative to provide proper and safe access to roads, transport, buildings and public places to differently-abled people so that they could enjoy a meaningful life and contribute to the progress of the nation. The top court said the right to dignity, which is ensured in the constitutional set up for every citizen, applies with much more vigour in cases of persons suffering from disability and it was duty of the State and public authorities to lay down proper norms in this regard. The top court passed a slew of directions, including that all government buildings providing any services to the public be made fully accessible to differently-abled persons by June 2019 as per provision of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.