Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Delhi HC: Make Foot overbridges accessible to persons with disabilities & senior citizens (Ongoing Case, NDOH 04 Dec 2023)

Court: High Court of Delhi at New Delhi

Bench: Satish Chandra Sharma, CJ, Subramonium Prasad, J

Case No:  W.P.(C) 5347/2022

Case Title: Pankaj Mehta Vs. Union of India & Ors.

Date of  Order: 29 Nov 2022

Date of Hearings (click on dates for orders) : 23 March 2023, 10 May 2023, 04 Dec 2023

Brief of the Case:

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad has asked Govt. of National Capital Terriroty of Delhi (NCTD) to inform what steps were being taken to make all foot overbridges disabledfriendly.

The bench was hearing a plea to ensure accessibility to foot overbridges and other public amenities to persons with disabilities and senior citizens where the petitioner has claimed that even where such facilities are available, they are not functional. 

The petitioner had pointed out in the petition that  these foot overbridges have been constructed on extremely busy roads and the nonfunctional state of the elevators and escalators have effectively rendered the persons with disabilities and the elderly in a state of helplessness as they are unable to access even the roads, which is prima facie violative of the fundamental rights of such citizens.

The court pointed out that as per a status report filed by the GNCTD, out of 110 foot overbridges, only 36 have mechanised assistance for disabled people like lifts or escalators. The court asked the Govt. to make some arrangements for those bridges which are not disabled-friendly.

The Counsel for the GNCTD assured the Court that within 4 months, the entire survey will be carried out and the Government of Delhi will ensure that all the 110 FOBs under the jurisdiction of PWD (GNCTD) will be disabled-friendly, meaning thereby, either lifts will be installed or ramps will be constructed and prayed for 6 months’ time to conclude the aforesaid exercise. 

The petitioner had sought directions to authorities to ensure convenience of and full accessibility to lifts, foot overbridges and other public amenities to persons with disabilities and senior citizens, and ensure compliance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. 

Read the Order of the Bench below:

Hearing Updates

23 March 2023:- Learned Counsel for the GNCTD prays for listing of the matter after two weeks as he has received some additional documents/ photographs in the matter from the Petitioner. The prayer is allowed. Learned Counsel for GNCTD shall also file a fresh status report in the matter within two weeks. List on 10.05.2023.

10 May 2023:-  A fresh Status Report has been filed. However, the same is not on record. Learned Counsel for the Respondent is grated a week’s time to place the reply on record. It is submitted by Mr. Satyakam, learned ASC for the GNCTD, that the Government is in process of making all foot-over bridges disabled friendly and for that a minimum six months’ time is required. Six months’ time is granted to the Government to do the needful. Let a fresh Status Report be filed by the Government after all the foot-over bridges are made disabled friendly. List on 04.12.2023.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Orissa HC quashes revised merit list for MBBS-BDS admission that puts disabled applicant from 5th to 33rd position.

Court:  High Court of Orissa at Cuttack

Bench: Dr. Justice B.R. Sarangi, and  Mr. Justice G. Satapathy, Justice

Case No. W.P (C) No. 28438 of 2022

Caste Title: Abhisek Bhabani Panda Vs.  State of Odisha and others

Date of Judgemement: 02.11.2022 

Case Brief:

A bench of Orissa high court quashed the revised merit list published by Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) for admission into MBBS-BDS courses saying that it can't be changed unilaterally because a right has already been accrued in favour of the candidates whose name finds a place in the final merit list.

"It is well settled in law that once the rule of the game is started, the same cannot be changed at the midst," observed the two-judge bench of Justice B R Sarangi and Justice Gourishankar Satapathy. The October 19 revised merit list was published while counselling was on after the final list was out on October 18, 2022.

The petitioner whose name found mention in 5th place in the Disability category in the final merit list, had filed a petition seeking intervention against the revised list that had put his name in 33rd position, as it reduced his chances of getting admission in a government college. 

The bench said the merit list should not have been revised causing problem for candidates. "Needless to say, the final merit list was published by the authorities in consonance with the law and pursuant to the advertisement issued by them as well as the prospectus provided for. But in the name of subsequent change of law, publication of the revised merit list in the midst itself causes great prejudice to the candidates, who had already been selected," the bench observed in the order.

"This court is of the considered view that the revised final state merit list for MBBS/BDS admission 2022-23 (after the 1st round) of OJEE-2022, dated 19.10.2022, cannot sustain in the eye of law and the same is liable to be quashed and is hereby quashed." ruled the bench.

It further ruled, "As such, the final merit list prepared by the authority vide Annexure-5 dated 18.10.2022 stands as it is, so far as physically challenged category is concerned. The opposite party nos.2 and 3 are directed to extend the benefit admissible to the physically challenged category candiates, in terms of the final State merit list published for MBBS/BDS admission 2022-23(After the 1st round) of the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE-2022) under Annexure-5 dated 18.10.2022. As the counselling is going to expire on 04.11.2022, the petitioner shall be given opportunity to participate in the counselling.

Read the order/judgement here: