Showing posts with label Karnataka High Court. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karnataka High Court. Show all posts

Friday, April 5, 2024

Karnataka HC: Husband with 75% disability can not be directed to pay maintenance to estranged wife [Judgement included]

Court: Karnataka High Court

Bench: Justice M. Nagaprasanna

Case No.WP No. 48615 of 2013 (GM - FC)

Case Title: Priyanka Singh v Pankaj Singh Sengar 

Date of Judgement: 05 April 2024


In a recent judgment by the Karnataka High Court, presided by Justice M. Nagaprasanna, a significant ruling was made regarding the obligation of a husband to pay maintenance to his estranged wife. The case, titled Priyanka Singh v Pankaj Singh Sengar, addressed the dispute between a husband and wife, where the husband, suffering from a 75% disability, was contested by the wife for maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.


Mr. Pankaj Singh Sengar and Mrs. Priyanka Singh were married in 2011 and had a daughter together. However, marital discord ensued, leading to the husband filing for annulment of the marriage, alleging the wife's voluntary departure from their matrimonial home. Amidst legal proceedings, the wife filed for interim maintenance, initially granted at Rs. 15,000 monthly, which became a subject of dispute over unpaid arrears. The husband, acquiring a 75% disability due to a stroke, resigned from work, leading to the wife's pursuit of maintenance through execution petitions, resulting in arrest warrants against him.

Court's Decision:

The court, after careful consideration, ruled in favor of the husband, stating that his 75% disability rendered him incapable of securing employment and thus exempted him from paying maintenance. Citing legal precedents and emphasizing the husband's inability to function as an able-bodied individual, the court held that maintenance cannot be expected from someone incapacitated to such a degree.

Key Points of the Judgment:

  • The husband's 75% disability incapacitated him from earning and maintaining the wife and child.
  • The court recalled the maintenance order, restricting it to the date of the husband's disability, to avoid exacerbating his dire situation.
  • Maintenance cannot be granted without considering the spouse's ability to provide it.
  • The responsibility for the grandchild's necessities was placed on the husband's father.


In conclusion, the Karnataka High Court's judgment in Priyanka Singh v Pankaj Singh Sengar sets a significant precedent regarding the obligation of spouses, particularly those with disabilities, to provide maintenance. The ruling reflects a nuanced understanding of familial responsibilities amidst challenging circumstances, ensuring fairness and equity in matrimonial disputes.


This judgment underscores the importance of considering spouses' abilities and circumstances in maintenance disputes, particularly in cases involving disabilities. It highlights the need for empathy and pragmatism in legal proceedings concerning family matters, ensuring just outcomes for all parties involved.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Responding to a PIL in Karnataka HC, Govt Mandates Voice-Based Public Address Systems in Buses: A Victory for Inclusive Transportation

Court: Karnataka High Court

Bench: Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Krishna S. Dixit

Date of Hearing: 20 Dec 2023


In a significant stride towards inclusive transportation, the Karnataka State government has taken a decisive step by mandating the installation of voice-based public address systems and disabled-friendly mechanisms in all existing buses. This development, revealed during a hearing at the High Court of Karnataka, marks a crucial milestone in response to a PIL petition filed by N. Shreyas Reddy, a visually impaired lawyer, advocating for improved accessibility for commuters with disabilities.

The government's commitment to enhancing public transportation accessibility was demonstrated through the issuance of a circular on December 19, 2023 which stipulates the mandatory installation of voice-based public address systems. This initiative, aimed at benefiting visually challenged commuters, underscores the State's proactive approach in addressing the needs of vulnerable segments of society.

During earlier proceedings, the government assured the court of its intention to introduce a voice-based alert system, signaling a promising commitment to inclusive transportation policies. Subsequently, during the hearing on 20 Dec 2023, the government counsel confirmed the issuance of the circular and assured that both public and private stage carriage vehicles would be equipped with these systems by June 30, 2024.

The circular outlines clear directives for both new and existing vehicles. For new vehicles, the installation of these systems will be verified at the time of registration, while for existing vehicles, it will be assessed during the renewal of fitness certificates. Additionally, the government counsel informed the court of forthcoming clarity through another circular regarding the installation process, further demonstrating a proactive approach towards implementation.

In response to these developments, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Krishna S. Dixit adjourned further proceedings while requesting the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation to provide a compliance report on the assurance given to the court regarding the installation of these systems in new buses procured from January 2024 onwards.

This proactive stance by the Karnataka government reflects a commendable commitment to fostering inclusive transportation infrastructure. By prioritizing the needs of visually challenged commuters, the government sets a precedent for other states to emulate, furthering the cause of accessibility and inclusivity in public transportation networks.

As these initiatives progress, there is renewed optimism for a future where transportation systems are not only efficient but also equitable, ensuring that every citizen, regardless of ability, can access essential services and opportunities.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Karnataka HC issues notice to Centre on a PIL challenging exclusion of disabilities as a variable from National Family Health Survey

Court: Karnataka High Court, Bangaluru

Bench: Hon'ble Chief Justice Mr. Prasanna B. Varale and Hon'ble Justice M.G.S. Kamal 

Case No.:  WP (C) 14180 of 2023

Case Title: Javed Abidi Foundation Vs. Union of India (Min. of Health & Family Welfare)

Date of Order: 04.08.2023

Brief of the case 

The petitioner Javed Abidi Foundation has sought a direction to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to include the 21 disabilities mentioned in the schedule to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPwD), 2016 as a variable in the household survey questionnaire of the NFHS-6 while pointing out that disabilities was a variable in the NFHS-5.

Quoting various media reports, the petition claimed that the disabilities were excluded from NFHS-6 on the advise of a Technical Advisory Committee citing two reasons - enumerators were not trained nor qualified to ask about and evaluate disability; and enumerating disability as a variable was a time-consuming and laborious process.

The petitioner has argued that the reasons cited to exclude disabilities are unjustifiable in the light of Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which states that it the right of persons with disabilities to be part of any data collection exercise and all data about disability should be disaggregated so that persons with disabilities can get the maximum advantage of any schemes and other programmes meant for their welfare. The exclusion also violative of the provisions of the RPwD Act, the petition has complained.

The PIL also disputes the claim of the Union Health Ministry that the disabilities has been already enumerated during the 76th round of the National Sample Survey of 2018 and there would be no change in those figures. The Ministry’s response to petitioner stating that the NFHS-5 contained questions in  the questionnaire on disabilities on the advise of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, and the primary focus of NFHS is maternal and child health and other questions with a very shorter version of the question will not be advisable.

The court passed the following order:

"The learned counsel for the petitioner invited our attention to Annexure-P1 and submits that though it is stated by respondent No.5 that it will not be able to collect accurate data on disability in its concurrent form and the primary focus of NFHS is maternal and child health, there are no grounds or reasons forthcoming as to why respondent No.5 is not in a position to collect the data on disability when such an exercise was undertaken by the very respondent in the year 2019.

Issue notice returnable within four weeks.

Sri Madhukar M. Deshpande, the learned counsel accepts notice for respondent No.1."

The PIL has made following prayers in the writ and interim relief:

Writ prayers

a) issue a writ in the nature of certiorari quashing the memorandum dated 14/06/2023 bearing reference number no.y.12011/3/2020-stats at Annexure-M is issued by the 2nd respondent stating unsustainable grounds for exclusion of disability from NFHS 6.

b) issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to include the 21 disabilities mentioned in the schedule to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 as a variable in the household questionnaire for the national family health survey 6 as per the petitioners and several other representations to the respondents.

c) issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to consider the representations of the petitioner at annexures-d, e, f, k and l and to expeditiously consider his appeal at annexure-q.

d) pass such orders (s) or issue such other writ (s). 

Interim prayer

issue orders to the respondents in the nature of directions to introduce a questionnaire on disabilities by way of addendum that is similar the questionnaire on disabilities introduced in NFHS 5 so as to include all the 21 disabilities mentioned in the schedule to the rights of persons with disabilities act, 2016 as a variable in the household questionnaire for the national family health survey 6.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Karnataka HC- During the exam, facility of Scribe and Option of objective type questions can be availed by other disabilities too, not just by candidates with hearing impairment.

Court: Karnataka High Court, India

Bench: The Hon'ble Mr. Prasanna B. Varale, Chief Justice and The Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.G.S. Kamal

Case No: Writ Appeal No. 722 OF 2023 

Case Title: Karnataka State Law University Vs.  Krishna

Date of Judgement: 10-07-2023


The Karnataka High Court dismissed an appeal filed by the Karnataka State Law University challenging a single bench order directing it to conduct III Semester exam for a differently abled Law student, by providing objective type of questions instead of descriptive type of questions.

It said that the overall object of the MSJE Exam Guidelines for persons with disabilities  needs to be appreciated which is providing opportunity for all to participate in the mainstream education system and that there is no stringent distinction based on the nature of disability in Exam Guidelines for alternative objective exam for students with disabilities.

Krishna, having 46% overall impairment affecting both brain and eyes, is pursuing his five years integrated law degree at Vaikunta Baliga Law College. Since he was unable to write by hand as such for the I Semester exam he utilized the facility of scribe. He was, however, informed by the college that unless permission was granted by the University, it cannot permit him to take the help of a scribe for examinations in future.

Accordingly, he made a representation to the appellant-University requesting for objective questions instead of descriptive questions and to utilize the help of a scribe in view of his disability. However, no action was taken on the representation constraining him to file a writ petition before the High Court.

The Court disposed of his petition while directing the University to consider the grievance and pass appropriate orders. Following which the University partly allowed the representation and rejected the request to provide objective questions instead of descriptive questions.

Thus the student again approached the Court which took note of the relevant guidelines issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) making provision for providing objective questions instead of descriptive questions to the disabled students. Court declined to accept the contention of the appellant-University that the provision is applicable only to the students having hearing impairment.

It held, “Section 2(r) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 `persons with bench mark disability’ means person with not less than 40% of specified disability, where specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with disability where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms as certified by the certifying authority."

Further, it directed the University to subject the student to medical examination by Chief Medical Officer/Civil Surgeon/Medical Superintendent of the Government Health Care Institution and if it is certified that the respondent is suffering from low vision to the extent of 40% or more, provide objective questions instead of descriptive questions.

The University in appeal argued that as per the guidelines, alternative objective questions can be provided only for those students who are are person with hearing impairment and not to persons  from any other disabilities. In the instant case since the student is not a person with hearing impairment but with a visual impairment and mental retardation, it contended that the benefit of the aforesaid provision cannot be extended. It was also submitted that since the student is suffering from mental retardation, objective questions which requires reasoning and intellectual skill cannot be provided.

A division bench said, “The overall object of the guidelines needs to be appreciated which is providing opportunity for all to participate in the mainstream education system. There cannot be any strict and stringent distinction on the basis of the nature of ailment. The purpose is to facilitate the specially abled persons to participate in the examination within the limits provided under the guidelines subject to required compliance in the nature of obtaining certificates from the competent authorities"

It added “Viewed from the said object, learned Single Judge taking note of the provisions describing persons with disability as provided under Section 2(r) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 has directed the appellant-University to subject the respondent for medical examination by Chief Medical Officer/Civil Surgeon/Medical Superintendent of the Government Health Care Institution and only if it is certified that the respondent is suffering from low vision to the extent of 40% or more, to provide objective questions instead of descriptive questions to the respondent in the ensuing examination.”

Accordingly the bench dismissed the appeal filed by the Karnataka State Law University. Read the Judgement below:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Supreme Court while upholding the Karnataka HC decision directs Karnataka Govt not to deny Primary School Teacher jobs to Visually Impaired Candidatesto

Court: Supreme Court of India

Bench: Hon'ble the Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Hon'ble Dr. Justice DY Chandrachud

Case No.: Civil Appeal No. 3910 of 2009 (Against the final order and judgment of the Karnataka High Court in PIL Writ Petition No. 16396 of 2005 dt. 29.09.2007)

Case Title: Selection Authority and Deputy Director  Vs. Akhila Karnataka S.K. Andha Sangha

Date of Judgement: 01 Sep 2016

Supreme Court directs Karnataka Govt. to not keep visually impaired persons out of primary school teacher jobs while dismissing the appeal filed by the Karnataka Govt.

Supreme Court of India upheld the ruling of the Karnataka High Court in PIL Writ petition No. 16396 of 2005, directing the Karnataka State Government to ensure reservation for visually impaired persons in the role of primary school teachers and to execute this through a dedicated recruitment drive. This decision marked the culmination of a legal battle that saw the state government arguing that individuals with blindness or low vision were unsuitable for the role of primary school teachers and should not be entitled to reservation in these positions.

The repercussions of this Supreme Court ruling are significant, as it will necessitate the recruitment of hundreds of blind and low vision individuals to address the shortfall in reserved vacancies that had persisted since 2005.

This legal victory was achieved through the efforts of a non-governmental organization (NGO) representing blind individuals, known as the "Akhila Karnataka Andha S.K. Sangha", with the able representation of Advocate Jayna Kothari. The organization had previously succeeded in petitioning the Karnataka High Court, where the state had argued that primary school teacher positions were ill-suited for visually impaired persons. In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court in July 2016, the state contended that students in primary schools could not be effectively taught by teachers with blindness or low vision. They further claimed that many government primary schools, out of a total of 44,000, had only one or two teachers without additional support staff, making it difficult for such schools to function if reservations were granted to visually impaired persons.

However, the Supreme Court ultimately rejected these arguments put forth by the Karnataka State Government. The bench, led by the Chief Justice of India, pointed out that the Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995 mandates that a minimum of 3% of all government job vacancies should be reserved for disabled individuals. Of this quota, at least 1% should be allocated for persons with impaired vision. Moreover, both the Central and Karnataka State Governments had recognized primary school teaching positions as suitable for blind and low vision individuals in accordance with the said Act. The court maintained that placing visually impaired individuals in schools equipped with other teachers and support staff would not disrupt the schools' functioning, particularly given the availability of modern technology-based aids and appliances for blind and low vision individuals. Thus, the Supreme Court held the state government responsible for fulfilling its obligation to employ visually impaired persons in these positions and dismissed their appeal.

Below the Supreme Court's order dated 01.09.2016 dismissing the appeal of the State Govt. of Karnataka:

"We have heard learned counsel for the parties at considerable length who have taken us through the orders impugned in these appeals. We are of the considered view that the impugned orders do not suffer from any error much less any perversity to compel our interference in exercise of our powers under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. These civil appeals accordingly fail and are dismissed."

Access the Karnataka HC Judgement:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Frame rules for appointing Disability Commissioner- Ktk HC

Frame rules to appoint commissioner for disabled, HC tells govt
Bengaluru, Aug 04, 2015, DHNS:

The High Court on Monday directed the State government to frame rules and guidelines for appointing the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in four months and to appoint a new commissioner by following the new rules.

Hearing a petition by the All India Physically Handicapped Welfare Association, challenging the appointment of K S Rajanna as the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna disposed of the petition. The bench passed an order stating that Rajanna can remain the commissioner till the new rules are framed and a new commissioner is appointed. The petitioners had contended that Rajanna - who himself is a disabled person - is not eligible enough to hold the position of Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. The petitioner had challenged his appointment as the commissioner.

Source: Deccan Herald 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Karnataka HC orders 3 pc quota in PG for disabled doctors in pre-clinical, para-clinical and clinical courses

Bangalore, May 2 2012, DHNS:

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the State government to complete the formalities regarding the seat matrix for the Postgraduate Common Entrance Test within three days.

Justice Bhaktavatsala told the government to announce the seat matrix within three days and asked it to provide three per cent reservation to physically challenged doctors during counselling for allotment of seats to eligible candidates in various disciplines of the postgraduate medical courses of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, as per the guidelines issued by the Medical Council of India.

The court was hearing a petition by physically challenged doctors - Veeresh Hallur and Mahajid Pasha - demanding three per cent reservation in the allotment of seats.

The petitioners said that the government had come up with a separate seat matrix, reserving postgraduate medical seats for doctors with locomotor disability in the range of 50 per cent to 70 per cent. They said such a reservation in seat matrix was only to offer seats in least preferred courses. The petitioners sought directions from the court to the government to provide three per cent horizontal reservation to physically challenged doctors in the pre-clinical, para-clinical and clinical courses.

Source: Deccan Herald