Showing posts with label Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation. Show all posts

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Supreme Court of India asks compliance report of new RPwDAct 2016 in 12 weeks | IA No. 10 of 2015 in Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation case [Judgement Included]

Court:         Supreme Court of India

Bench:         Justice Dipak Misra,  Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar

Case No. :     I.A. NO.10 OF 2015 in  WP (Civil) No. 116 OF 1998, 

Case Title :   Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation  Vs. U.O.I. & Anr 

Date of Judgement:  25 April, 2017

Author: Justice Dipak Misra

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Dear Colleagues,

Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has, in a major move to ensure speedy justice to persons with disabilities, has passed directions to implement the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 enforced by the Govt. of  India on 19 April 2017. In an interlocutory application filed by the petitioner in Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation vs. Union of India and Another, reported as (2014) 14 SCC 383, and on the application filed by intervener "Sambhavana Organisation",  the bench of  Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar passed the directions to all the States and Union Territories to file compliance report within 12 weeks on the Act of 2016.

The Intervener, Sambhavana Organisation - a self help group of persons with disabilities had also filed an application citing examples of over seven Universities that were discriminating against persons with Blindness and Vision Impairments while filing up various teaching and non-teaching posts. The intervener also cited instances that UGC that funds these universities has not taken any action on implementation of the provisions of the Disabilities Act particularly the reservation in employment and successive employment notification systemically failed to give the rightful representation to the stakeholders with visual disabilities.

The bench observed, "The 2016 Act visualizes a sea change and conceives of actualization of the benefits engrafted under the said Act. The whole grammar of benefit has been changed for the better, and responsibilities of many have been encompassed. In such a situation, it becomes obligatory to scan the anatomy of significant provisions of the Act and see that the same are implemented. The laudable policy inherent within the framework of the legislation should be implemented and not become a distant dream. Immediacy of action is the warrant."

The bench referred to certain provisions to highlight the salient features of the Act of 2016 and stressed that more rights have been conferred on the disabled persons and more categories have been added. That apart, access to justice, free education, role of local authorities, National fund and the State fund for persons with disabilities have been created. The 2016 Act is noticeably a sea change in the perception and requires a march forward look with regard to the persons with disabilities and the role of the States, local authorities, educational institutions and the companies. The statute operates in a broad spectrum and the stress is laid to protect the rights and provide punishment for their violation. 

The Court directed, "When the law is so concerned for the disabled persons and makes provision, it is the obligation of the law executing authorities to give effect to the same in quite promptitude. The steps taken in this regard shall be concretely stated in the compliance report within the time stipulated. When we are directing the States, a duty is cast also on the States and its authorities to see that the statutory provisions that are enshrined and applicable to the cooperative societies, companies, firms, associations and establishments, institutions, are scrupulously followed. The State Governments shall take immediate steps to comply with the requirements of the 2016 Act and file the compliance report so that this Court can appreciate the progress made. The Bench directed the SC registry to send its order to chief secretaries of all states and directed them to take immediate steps to comply with its direction by 16 Aug 2017.

The Court directed that compliance report to be filed by the States shall be supplied to the learned counsel for the petitioner (Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation), learned counsel for the Union of India as well as to the learned counsel for the applicant/intervenor (Sambhavana Organisation) so that they can assist the Court.

Read the Order Dated 25 April 2017 in matter titled Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation vs. Union of India and Another  embedded below:


Friday, September 4, 2015

Supreme Court of India fumes at Several states silent on implementation of Disabilities Act |

4th Sep, 2015

Bringing into focus the plight of disabled people, the Supreme Court today fumed at several states not filing responses as to steps taken to implement various provisions of the Disability Act.

In April , the apex court had issued notices to the Centre and all states on a plea seeking periodic monitoring of implementation of various provisions of the Disabilities Act. But ten states including Delhi Rajasthan, jharkhand have not yet filed responses.

An angry bench headed by justice Dipak Misra told lawyers representing several states: “let the matter now be posted for October 13. We are giving last chance to all states to file their responses. In the event of further failure strict action will be taken”. The plea states that a majority of citizens belonging to disabled  category have not got any relief even two decades after the rules were passed.

Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation, on whose petition the court has been issuing orders for the welfare of the differently-abled since 1998, had moved an application saying that unless there was an effective monitoring system on the lines of Vineet Narain judgment in which the SC is keeping a tab on investigation of various corruption cases and issuing periodic directions, the implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, will merely remain on paper.

Ambar Qamaruddin, the lawyer for the petitioner, pointed out that the court itself had last year observed that only the Centre, some states and the UGC had satisfied it on the implementation of the rules.

A majority of the states were yet to comply with it and thus, the need for a monitoring mechanism.

“Even in last year’s order, the court had said all measures had to be taken ‘positively by the end of 2014’ but nothing had happened,” Qamaruddin submitted.

“Central government, state governments and UTs may be directed to file a quarterly/half yearly status report before the court,” he argued.

The directions pertained to reservation of 1% of identified teaching posts in various schools and colleges for the disabled, jobs in private sectors and PSUs, seats for students in various universities and creating special facilities for differently-abled persons at public places such as railway stations, bus terminus, airports and in trains, buses and aircraft.

Directing that all measures be taken by the end of 2014, the court had in its order in March, 2014, said: “The beneficial provisions of the 1995 Act cannot be allowed to remain only on paper for years and thereby defeating the very purpose of such law and legislative policy.

“As a matter of fact, the role of the governments in the matter such as this has to be proactive. In the matters of providing relief to those who are differently-abled, the approach and attitude of the executive must be liberal and relief oriented and not obstructive or lethargic.

“A little concern for this class who are differently-abled can do wonders in their life and help them stand on their own and not remain on mercy of others.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Supreme Court of India | Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation Vs. Union of India & Anr | 26 March 2014

Court: Supreme Court of India

Bench: R.M. Lodha, Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, Dipak Misra

Case No. & Title : WP (Civil) No. 116 OF 1998, Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation  Vs. U.O.I. & Anr 

Date of Judgement:  26 March, 2014

Equivalent Citation(2014) 14 SCC 383)

Author: R Lodha

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REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL ORIGINAL/APPELLATE JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 116 OF 1998

JUSTICE SUNANDA BHANDARE FOUNDATION             ....Petitioner(s)

     VERSUS

 U.O.I. & ANR                                                                          ......Respondent(s)

WITH WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 115 OF 1998 WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 430 OF 2000 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6442 OF 1998 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6443 OF 1998 


J U D G M E N T 

R.M. LODHA, J. :

Writ Petition (Civil) No. 116 of 1998 In this Writ Petition filed by the petitioner – a charitable trust, the prayers made are (i) for implementation of the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (for short, '1995 Act'), (ii) direction for the reservation of 1% of the identified teaching posts in the faculties and college of various Universities in terms of Section 33 of the 1995 Act, and (iii) for declaration that denial of appointment to the visually disabled persons in the faculties and college of various Universities in the identified posts is violative of their fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 15 read with Article 41 of the Constitution of India.

2. Initially, two respondents, namely, (one) Union of India through its Secretary, Ministry of Welfare and (two) University Grants Commission (U.G.C.) through its Chairperson were impleaded as party respondents.

3. On 07.10.1998, the Court ordered impleadment of the States and so also the Union Territories and, accordingly, respondent Nos. 3 to 34 were impleaded as party respondents.

4. On 13.09.2001, the Court directed the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India to be impleaded as party respondent and consequently it has been impleaded as respondent No. 35.

5. Then on 18.02.2009, the Court directed Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities of various States and Union Territories to be impleaded as party respondents and consequently respondent Nos. 36 to 70 have been impleaded who are Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities in different States and Union Territories.

6. Certain interim orders have been passed by this Court from time to time.

7. Insofar as U.G.C. (respondent No. 2) is concerned, the Court was informed on 19.03.2002 through counter affidavit that U.G.C. has acted in compliance of the 1995 Act. In paras 3, 6, 7 and 8 of the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, it was stated :

"3. It is humbly submitted that in pursuance of Section 32 of the Persons with Disabilities Act (Equal Opportunities Protection of Rights and Full participation) Act, 1995, the appropriate government (Government of India) has updated the list of identified posts. This list has been issued vide Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 178 dated 30.6.2001. In this list, the posts of University/College/School Teacher for the blind and low-vision have been listed at Sl. No. 24-27 on page No. 592.

6.  The Chief Commissioner for Person with Disabilities has taken cognizance of  the arrangements  provided by  the University  Grants Commission  for  persons  with   disabilities by of  extending  5%  relaxation  in  cut  off marks, appearing  in the NET for Junior Research Fellowship and Lectureship.  Thus, the arrangement  extended    by  UGC is in consonance with the policy stand taken by Govt. of India in so far as  relaxation  in    minimum standard     is concerned. Relaxation in standards has  been  favoured only when the candidates  belonging  to reserved  categories  are not available on  the basis  of  the  general standard to fill  all the vacancies reserved  for them.

7.   The relaxation extended to SC & ST candidates as per Maintenance of Standard 1998 of   the Universities, provides for a 5% relaxation from 55 %  to 50% in  the marks obtained at Master's Degree.  Since reservation for the disabled is  called   horizontal reservation which cuts  across all   vertical categories  such    as SC, ST, OBC & General. Therefore, all    such blind/low- vision persons who belonged to SC,ST vertical category would automatically   enjoy the benefit  of  5 %  relaxation   at the minimum qualifying  marks  obtained at Master's Degree level.  Thus, only the blind   and  low vision belonging to  OBC & General categories  are deprived of  the  relaxation  of  5% marks  at masters' level.

8.  The blind/low-vision and other visually disabled persons belonging to SC & ST category are  in  any case enjoying the benefit  of  5% relaxation in  marks  obtained  at  the  master's level for appearing   in   the  NET  examination conducted by the UGC. By extending the same relaxation to particularly blind/low-vision and in general all disabled at par with SC & ST  disabled would bring  parity amongst all persons with disabilities irrespective  of   their vertical categories."

8. Thus, insofar as U.G.C. is concerned, this Court in the order 19.03.2002 observed that nothing survives for consideration and the matter is disposed of as against U.G.C.

9. On 19.07.2006, the Court directed the Union of India and the State Governments to file their responses in the form of affidavits within a period of four weeks, failing which it was observed that the Court may be compelled to direct personal appearance of the Chief Secretaries of the concerned States though the Court would like to avoid in making such a direction. Some of the States have filed their responses and some have not.

10. Be that as it may, the beneficial provisions of the 1995 Act cannot be allowed to remain only on paper for years and thereby defeating the very purpose of such law and legislative policy. The Union, States, Union Territories and all those upon whom obligation has been cast under the 1995 Act have to effectively implement it. As a matter of fact, the role of the governments in the matter such as this has to be proactive. In the matters of providing relief to those who are differently abled, the approach and attitude of the executive must be liberal and relief oriented and not obstructive or lethargic. A little concern for this class who are differently abled can do wonders in their life and help them stand on their own and not remain on mercy of others. A welfare State, that India is, must accord its best and special attention to a section of our society which comprises of differently abled citizens. This is true equality and effective conferment of equal opportunity.

11. More than 18 years have passed since the 1995 Act came to be passed and yet we are confronted with the problem of implementation of the 1995 Act in its letter and spirit by the Union, States, Union Territories and other establishments to which it is made applicable.

12. Ms. Sunita Sharma, learned counsel for the Union of India, informs us that insofar as Union of India is concerned, it has implemented the provisions of the 1995 Act and the reservation of 1% of the identified teaching posts in the faculties and college of various Universities in terms of Section 33 of the 1995 Act has been done.

13. In our view, the 1995 Act has to be implemented in the letter and spirit by the Central Government, State Governments and Union Territories without any delay, if not implemented so far.

14. We, accordingly, direct the Central Government, State Governments and Union Territories to implement the provisions of the 1995 Act immediately and positively by the end of 2014.

15. The Secretary, Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, the Chief Secretaries of the States, the Administrators of Union Territories, the Chief Commissioner of the Union of India and the Commissioners of the State Governments and Union Territories shall ensure implementation of the 1995 Act in all respects including with regard to visually disabled persons within the above time.

16. Writ Petition is disposed of in the above terms.

Writ Petition (Civil) No. 115 of 1998, Writ Petition (Civil) No. 430 of 2000, Civil Appeal No. 6442 of 1998 and Civil Appeal No. 6443 of Writ Petitions and Appeals are disposed of in terms of the judgment passed today in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 116 of 1998.

2. No costs.

3. Interlocutory Applications for intervention and impleadment filed in Civil Appeal No. 6442 of 1998, in view of the above, do not survive and they stand disposed of as such.


..............................J. (R.M. LODHA)

..............................J. (SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)

 ..............................J.  (DIPAK MISRA)

 NEW DELHI;      MARCH 26, 2014       

 

Read the judgement embedded below: