Friday, December 15, 2023

Delhi High Court Grants Relief in Landmark Judgment: Upholding Rights of Persons with Disabilities Against Unjust Transfer [Judgement included]

Court: Delhi High Court 

Bench: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandra Dhari Singh

Case Title: Bhavneet Singh Vs  Ircon Internatioal Ltd. through Chairman & MD & Ors.

Case No: W.P.(C) 12404/2022, CM APPL. Nos. 37256/2022 & 10458/2023

Decided on: 15th December 2023

Cases Refered:  Net Ram Yadav Vs. The State of Rajasthan & Ors. 2022 SCC OnLine SC 1022

Facts of the Case

The petitioner, an individual with orthopedic disabilities with a 72% locomotor impairment, field this petition under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, challenging a transfer order issued by IRCON International Ltd.  relocating the petitioner from the corporate office to the Chhattisgarh Rail Project.

Alleging non-compliance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, the petitioner contended that such a transfer would lead to undue harassment, pose health risks, and deprive him of essential medical care. The petitioner argued that the transfer contravened Articles 14 and 16, as well as the provisions of the Disability Act.

In response, IRCON defended the transfer, citing administrative necessities, professional interests, and the amenities available at the new location. They asserted that the move was not intended to be malicious and even offered additional benefits to the petitioner at the new place of transfer.

Upon careful examination of the reasons presented and consideration of the applicable legal standards, the court ruled that the transfer order violated Article 14 and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. The court underscored the importance of ensuring equal opportunities and suitable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Consequently, the court set aside the transfer orders, granting relief in favor of the petitioner.

Read the Court Judgement dated 15 Dec 23 below:

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Court of CCPD issues Suo Motu notice to Department of Posts for use of inappropriate terms as "Lunatic Account" for a person with autism.

Court: Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, New Delhi

Case No: 14668/1102/2023 

Case Title: Suo Motu against Department of Posts, Govt. of India & Anr. 

Date of Notice: 07 Dec 2023

Brief:

The Court of CCPD has taken cognizance of a news item published in the daily, “The Hindu” on 21.11.2023 (Chennai Edition) which says that ‘Post office opens ‘Lunatic Account’ for autisticman; plaint lodged’. According to the news item, a senior citizen-a telecom family pensioner, approached the GKM Postal Colony Post Office in Chennai some months ago to open a savings account and term deposit account in the name of his son who has autism.  He had requested to open a Guardian Operated Account, furnishing his son’s National Disability Identity Card and the Guardianship Certificate given under the National Trust Act. His account was opened but citing a colonial-era legislation, Section 12 of the Government Savings Bank Act, 1873, the Department of Posts is continuing the insensitive practice of classifying the account as “Lunatic Account”. 

Incidently, "as per the Section 12 of Government Savings Bank Act, 1873, persons with unsound mind or incapable of managing his affairs are defined as lunatics and as such, the same terminology is used in Post Office Saving Bank operations," clarified a communication from the department of posts.

The court highlighted the mandate of Section 13 of RPWD Act that provides that the appropriate government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities have rights equally with others to control their financial affairs and have access to bank loans and other forms of financial credit and enjoy legal capacity. The Section and the Preamble of the Act also provides that the autonomy, dignity, and privacy of persons with disability shall be respected;

The court also refered to the UN issued Disability Inclusive Language Guidelines launched by the United Nations in 2019 as part of its UN Disability Inclusion Strategy The said guidelines in its  Annexure I lists various commonly used terms, which should be avoided and has also mapped such terms with corresponding terms recommended by the UN. The policy of the UN aims to establish the highest levels of commitment and a vision for the United Nations system on disability inclusion for the next decade, and aims at establishing an institutional framework for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among other international human rights instruments and development and humanitarian commitments.

Here is the Suo Motu Notice: