How to write a Petition

How to write a complaint or a  petition to the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities under The Rights of Persons With Disabilities 2016

Under the Act, there is a provision of appointing a Chief Commissioner for Persons with  Disabilities at the Central level  in section 74 and State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities at the State level in section 79. If your matter/grievance relates to Central Government /Institutions under the Central Government/ PSUs etc. you can directly write a petition under Section 75 of the Persons with Disabilities Act and present the same to the Chief Commissioner either  in person/or through a representative/ or through registered post/ or through an email  at the following address :

Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
Sarojini House, 6 Bhagwan Dass Road, New Delhi 110001
Phone No : 91-011 - 23386154, 23386054
Fax: 91-011-23386006 email: ccpd@nic.in

If your matter relates to State Governments or departments under the State Government, you can write a petition under section 80 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 to the respective State Commissioners, the list of which is available at "State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities":

What the law says: 

"Rule 38 of RPWD Rules 2017: Procedure to be followed by Chief Commissioner and Commissioner.- (1) An aggrieved person may present a complaint containing the following particulars in person or by his agent to the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner or send it by registered post or by email addressed to the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner, namely:-
(a) the name, description and the address of the aggrieved person;
(b) the name, description and the address of the opposite party or parties, as the case may be, so far as they may beascertained;
(c) the facts relating to complaint and when and where it arose;
(d) documents in support of the allegations contained in the complaint; and
(e) the relief which the aggrieved person claims.

(2) The Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner on receipt of a complaint shall refer a copy of the complaint to the opposite party or parties mentioned in the complaint, directing him to give his version of the case within a period of thirty days or such extended period not exceeding fifteen days as may be granted by the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner.

(3) On the date of hearing or any other date to which hearing could be adjourned, the parties or their agents shall appear before the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner.

(4) Where the aggrieved person or his agent fails to appear before the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner on such days, the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner may either dismiss the complaint on default or decide on merits.

(5) Where the opposite party or his agent fails to appear on the date of hearing, the Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner may take such necessary action under section 77 of the Act as he deems fit for summoning and enforcing the attendance of the opposite party.

(6) The Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner may dispose of the complaint ex-parte, if necessary.

(7) The Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner may on such terms as he deems fit and at any stage of the proceedings, adjourn the hearing of the complaint.

(8) The Chief Commissioner or the Commissioner shall decide the complaint as far as possible within a period of three months from the date of receipt of notice by the opposite party."

How to send the complaint/ petition

You may send the complaint/ petition by Registered Post/ Speed Post/ Email, Fax or even on telephone to the Chief Commissioner/ State Commissioner. However, in certain states, a written complaint is more preferred than a telephonic complaint. During the times of the pandemic, the Courts of Chief Commisioner/State Commissioners are hearing the complaints online. For this reason, it is advisable to provide your phone number and email as well of the opposite parties in the Memo of parties in the petition itself.

For any query, you may write to me on email:  info@subhashvashishth.com

Here are two samples one for ordinary complaint and other for specific complaint on inaccessibility of govt. website.

A.  Sample of an Ordinary Complaint/ Petition to Disability Commissioner



IN THE COURT OF CHIEF COMMISSIONER- PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES / STATE COMMISSIONER PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (NAME OF STATE)
(ADDRESS OF THE COMMISSIONER)


In RE:

Name of complainant with full address/email                              ....Complainant/ Petitioner

Versus

Name of the  person (s) and organization(s)
against whom you are making your complaint,
together with their address and details,
so far as they can be ascertained.                                                .... Respondent

Subject: COMPLAINT UNDER SECTION _____ OF THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT 2016

(Section 75 in case of Chief commissioner and Section 80 in case of State Commissioner)

1. Provide brief details of yours and the nature of your disability. You must enclose a copy of your Disability Certificate from a valid authority. (The Act considers you a person with  benchmark disabilities if you have 40 or more percent disabilities duly certified by medical board). If you don't have a certificate, you can make a statement to that effect.

2. The facts relating to the complaint as in What happened; When it happened; Where it happened; how is contravenes the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016

3. Prayer/ Relief being claimed by you.

4. Documents in support of your claim/relief. (please note that you must be able to give documents in support of the allegations contained in the complaint.) and also enclose a copy of your disability certificate issued by competent authority.


Yours faithfully,


Signature with your contact details /email id and mobile number etc.

Petitioner


Verification:
Verified at _______(place) on ________ (date) that the contents of above petition are true to the best of my knowledge and that I have not suppressed any material facts.


Petitioner



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B.  Sample of a Petition against inaccessible Website or App of Govt. department/Service Provider


   IN THE COURT OF CHIEF COMMISSIONER FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
/ STATE COMMISSIONER FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (NAME OF STATE)
(ADDRESS OF THE COMMISSIONER)

In RE:

Name of complainant with full address
/ email/ phone                                                                       ...Complainant/ Petitioner

  Versus

Name of the person (s) and organization(s)
against whom you are making your complaint,
together with their address, email, phone number etc
and details, so far as they can be ascertained.                      .... Respondent (s)


Subject: COMPLAINT UNDER SECTION _____ OF THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT 2016  (Section 75 in case of Chief commissioner and Section 80 in case of State Commissioner)

Respectfully showeth,

1. That the petitioner is a …………………………….

2. The petitioner through this petition wishes to bring to the notice of this Hon'ble Court that the respondent’s website www………………………………………………. is inaccessible for persons with disabilities and therefore, contravenes the  provisions of Chapter VIII, Duties and Responsibilities of Governments. 

3. In particular following are the noted violations of the RPWD Act:
(a)      The website/ app doesn't meet the mandatory Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW) requirements available at :  https://web.guidelines.gov.in/assets/gigw-manual.pdf)
(b)     The documents in PDF uploaded on the website for public information are inaccessible and do not meet the criteria of  “Open Document/ PDF Accessibility” (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/pdf.html). A copy of the W3C validation report in respect of the said website is enclosed for your ready reference. 

4. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 provides as under:

Section 46. Time limit for accessibility by service providers.—
The service providers whether Government or private shall provide services in accordance with the rules on accessibility formulated by the Central Government under section 40 within a period of two years from the date of notification of such rules.

5. That the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2017 notified on 15 June 2017, provides as under:-

           "Section 15 (c) : Information and Communication Technology
 (i) website standard, as specified in the guidelines for Indian Government websites, as adopted     by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India;

 (ii) documents to be placed on websites shall be in Electronic Publication (ePUB) or Optical     Character Reader (OCR) based pdf format."  

6. A conjoint reading of Section 46 of RPWD Act and Rule 15 of RPWD Rules indicates that in order to be compliant to the law, the respondent should have ensured accessibility of ICT before the closing date of 15 June 2019. The respondent is in continuous violation of the mandate of RPWD Act 2016 and the Act provides for penalities for such a voilation as below:

"CHAPTER XVI - OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
Section 89. Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act, or of any rule made thereunder shall for first contravention be punishable with fine which may extend to ten thounsand rupees and for any subsequent contravention with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees."

7. That persons with disabilities use different assistive technologies to browse the web. However, if the websites or documents are not constructed as per the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the assistive technology fails to read them thus barring a person with disabilities from accessing the website on an equal basis with others.

8. That India signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2007 and ratified it a few months later. The State is therefore obliged to proactively promote digital inclusion of persons with disabilities. 

9. With the movements like OGPL (Open Government Platform http://ogpl.gov.in/) to promote Transparency and Citizen Engagement showing the way for enhanced information sharing, such  glaring omissions render the entire efforts futile.

Prayer/ Relief

10. In view of the foregoing, the petitioner humbly prays for:

(a)  The responsibility for non-compliance be fixed and appropriate penalty be recommended to be imposed on the concerned under the provisions of Section 89 for continued non compliance wef 15 June 2019.
(b) Suitable time bound recommendations/directions to the respondent to comply with the mandatory provisions of the law and make their website and documents accessible to all conforming to the presribed standards.
(c)  The present case be not disposed off until the recommendations/directions are complied with.
(d)   Such further directions/ orders as may be found just and proper to meet the ends of justice in the present case.

Petitioner

Verification:
Verified at _______(place) on ________ (date) that the contents of above petition are true to the best of my knowledge and that I have not suppressed any material facts.

Petitioner