Showing posts with label Persons with Disabilities Act. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Persons with Disabilities Act. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Kerala HC quashes HPCL's stipulation denying distributorship on groud of blindness [Judgement Included]

Dear Colleagues,

In a writ petition W.P.(C).No.29046/2013 titled Baby P. Versus M/s Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, the Honorable Kerala High Court vide its judgement dated 30 May 2016 has quashed the stipulation that ‘totally blind person is ineligible’ for LPG distributorship as violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India.

The petitioner, P. Baby of Thiruvananthapuram, a totally blind person, applied for LPG Distributorship at Kodiyathoor in Kollam under S.C.(C.C) category. But his application was rejected by the respondent on two grounds, one of them being that a ‘totally blind person’ was ineligible to apply for LPG distributorship & the other being lack of own space for operating the agency. The petitioner had submitted that he was willing to take on rent adequate space to run the agency.

Quashing a part of the norms formulated by the petroleum company that allowed denying distributorship to persons who are completely blind, the court held that it amounts to violation of the constitutional right to equality before law and denies equal opportunity to blind persons.

In the judgment, the court said if a disability doesn't prevent a person from performing a job, such a disability cannot be the reason for denying the job. Denying a job citing disability can only be allowed if the disability prevents the person from performing the functions associated with the job. Denial of jobs citing disability becomes necessary only in special circumstances such as driving, the court said. 

The petroleum company had contended that if a blind person such as the petitioner is granted LPG distributorship, he won't be able to inspect complaints related to cylinders and that inspection of cylinders to rectify complaints is a job that requires maintenance of the highest safety standards. However, the court said those who formed the norms ousting blind persons completely from grant of distributorships are unaware of the fact that they are able to perform such tasks that require a high degree of specificity. 

Delivering the judgment, Justice Muhammed Mustaque, opined that the above stipulation of classification  was unreasonable, since it  had no nexus with the purpose sought to be achieved. The bench opined:- “The classification in the case in hand appears to have been made based on the broad generalization that the Distributorship can be run only by persons of certain abilities. Such a classification ex facie appears to be unreasonable and unsustainable. Though, the object of such prescription appears to be that in order to carry out day-to-day affairs, constant vision of the Distributors is required. The vision of eye sight, in fact, has nothing to do with the functions being discharged by the Distributors. A blind person is also endowed with a vision. Though, he cannot physically see an activity, with his insight vision he can run a Distributorship. Therefore, the object of classification must have a nexus with the purpose and intent to be achieved.

The modern technological advantages and improvement of social conditions of the blind cannot be ignored while considering the functional duties attached with Distributorship.” The court further elaborated its stand, by employing the Doctrine of strict scrutiny developed by American courts, wherein the general presumption available for a statute,  on its validity cannot be invoked for an executive action, but the onus is cast on the proponent of the classification to establish its constitutionality.

The Court thereupon proceeded, to determine the constitutionality of the stipulation and whether the same   causes reverse discrimination. Answering the query in affirmative the court ruled:-“The blind persons cannot be treated as a separate class except for affirmative action or for the purpose of functional duty attached with an office or post. They are equally competent and have all competitive and cognitive skills similar to the able bodied persons except lacking visionary functions. Therefore, they can be treated as a separate class for the purpose of affirmative actions or for any other purpose relating to the functional competence of the duties attached to the post/office.

As has been noted above, the doctrine of scrutiny casts a duty on the policy makers to justify discrimination and not otherwise. In this case, absolutely no materials have been placed before this Court to justify classification.” Terming the stipulation as violative of Article 14, the court observed:- “The equal opportunities for a blind person cannot be negated unless the functions that have to be discharged by him intrinsically, cannot be separated from his disability, such as persons like drivers or such other functionaries who may require vision for carrying out the function. A blind person would be also able to discharge the same functions as that of an able bodied person without any impediment as far as LPG Distributorship is concerned. Therefore, this Court is of the view that the stipulation in the Brochure that a “totally blind person is ineligible” is violative of Art.14 of the Constitution. Accordingly, the clause as above is set aside.”

Media stories  

Times of India - Disability not a bar for jobs they can perform: HC

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Physically Challenged Versus Logically Challenged

Dear Colleagues,

There is an inherent bias in the executive when it comes to giving equal opportunities to those living with disabilities in employment despite the tall claims on paper by the Government and harshest judgements from the Courts criticizing the executive and the government. Now whether it is born out of age old mis-beliefs, myths and resultant negative attitudes towards the disabled or an utter lack of awareness about the possibilities and potential of those living with disabilities - the result is insurmountable barriers for disabled people on every step of their lives.

A committee of High Court Judges decides that those with vision impairments and those with hearing and speech impairment can not function as Judges (Blind/deaf can't be judges, say govt and HC; PIL questions it), the Babus decide what a person with disabilities is capable of, without even knowing a, b, c of disability! And these decisions are taken in solo without involving those with disabilities or their organisations. 

We recently saw certain candidates with disabilities who passed the UPSC's Civil Services Examination way back in 2007 -08 continue to await allocation of posts! The principles of natural justice particularly in a democratic set up as ours, demand that an opportunity of being heard be given to those affected by the proposed action. This is amazing way of functioning displayed by the Indian bureaucracy where the bureaucrats and not the law decides whom they want to allow in their gang!

Section 32 and the List of Identified Jobs

The List of Identified Jobs for persons with disabilities which had been prepared by the Babus with some experts from field also on the panel has done more harm than good for persons with disabilities of this country.  The list has been used to deserving people out by State governments from several key posts. The successive committees of babus have not allowed the stakeholders to even know what was added or removed in the successive list of jobs published through gazettes. Each time a list of published, the earlier was removed from the website, without even explaining what new post(s) have been added or deleted from the list and the basis for the same! And this business of identified jobs has been in business since 1989 even before the disabilities Act came in to force.

The list doesn't seem to have applicability in all the states and union territories since so many states (read babus) have published their own selective lists of posts (read... unimportant posts) jobs, keeping the posts to the minimum that could be held by  persons with disabilities. Certain states and Ministries have been on an exemption seeking spree under the proviso of Section 33 of the Disabilities Act. For instance the post of Judge has been identified in the Central List whereas states like West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh seems to have taken regressive steps by obtaining exemptions of judicial posts from the purview of section 33 (reservation in favour of persons with disabilities particularly against the candidates with visual and hearing and speech disabilities.)  

3% reservation in promotion under Section 33 

Similarly, by twisting the interpretation of section 33, the Babus have for long denied the 3% reservation in promotional posts to employees with disabilities particularly in group A and B posts citing various untenable reasons.  

Now the Bombay High Court has dealt with the issue in a PIL filed by an NGO - National Confederation for Development of Disabled. The petition pointed out that the ratio of percentage of direct IAS to IAS by promotion or election was 67% : 33% in Maharashtra state at present. Thus effectively, out of 100 new posts, 67 were being filled by people who have been directly recruited in the IAS category and 33 posts were filled by state civil service officers.  Thus the reservation in 33% promotional posts was being denied to the disabled officers from State Civil Services (for the impugned executive orders provide for no reservation in promotion in Group A and B posts!).

In a remarkable judgement the Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha has on 04 December 2013, directed that the rule be applied to the promotion of officers, who were recruited through the disabled quota i.e.  now reservation would be applicable on all the 100 posts.   
The court held that it is clear  that  reservation has  to  be computed with  reference to  total  number of vacancies in the cadre strength and, therefore, no distinction can be made between the posts to be filled in by direct recruitment and by promotion.  Total number of vacancies in the cadre strength would include the vacancies to be filled in by nomination and vacancies to be filled in by promotion. 


Download the above Bombay High Court judgement in PIL No. 106 of 2010  titled National Confederation for Development of Disabled and another versus Union of India and ors.  (PDF 132 KB) or read below:

Manner of computation of reservation under Section 33

The manner of arriving at or computing 3% reservation in various posts has not been spelled out in the Act. and thus in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 73 of the Act, the government (read babus) used their discretion to spell it out through executive orders (read DoPT Memos) thereby restricting the reservation benefits to the minimum particularly in Gp A and B posts.  

For Eg. Office Memorandum (OM) dated 29.12.2005, issued by the Department of Personnel & Training, inter alia provides a system for ensuring proper implementation of the provisions of the Act for the persons with disabilities, wherein the 3% reservation for the disabled persons was being computed by taking into account the total number of vacancies arising in Group C and D posts for being filled by direct recruitment in a recruitment year both in the identified and non-identified posts under the establishment. Similarly, all vacancies in promotion quota shall be taken into account while computing reservation in promotion in Group C and Group D posts. 

However, interestingly, when it came to Gp A and B posts, it was specifically restricted to be computed on the basis of vacancies occurring in direct recruitment quota in all the identified Group A posts in the establishment.

Justification to such a restriction given was that since the reservation for Group C and D posts is being calculated on the basis of the vacancies in identified as well as unidentified posts prior to the Act came into existence and in view of the provisions of Section 72 of the Act (Act to be in addition to and not in derogation of any other law), continued in the same way, however, reservation for Group A and B posts is  to be calculated on the basis of the vacancies for identified posts as per the provisions of the Act.

The court thus decided that the modus of computation of reservation on the basis of total number of vacancies (both inclusive of identified and unidentified) in the cadre strength will uniformly apply to Group A, B, C and D and not just Gp C and D). Supreme Court Judgement dated 08 October 2013 in Union of India  Versus National Federation of Blind (Civil Appeal 9096 of 2013) (click on link for judgement).

Accordingly, the DoPT  issued a revision on 03rd December 2013 to its Memo dated 29.12.2005 (click link for a copy)

The way ahead

The tendency of the Government (read Babus) is to find ways to block the entry of the disabled into the mainstream of employment. This undeclared blockade has no direct link with abilities of persons with disabilities and indicates a greater malady that exists in our system. This can only be tackled by a sincere attempt to raise awareness of all government employees from the top order to the lowest about the capabilities of the disabled and also supporting employees with disabilities with reasonable accommodation and equal opportunities to work and prove their worth. At the same time, the executive has to be interpret the benevolent provisions of the Act so as to give effect to the will of the legislature and the mandate of international convention called UN CRPD. 

One out of box idea is to scrap the Identification List  and  the present system of effecting reservation on identified posts. Let all posts be open for persons with disabilities with only condition that each person showcases how he/she will perform the functions of that post. Those competing on merit be not adjusted against reserved vacancies (policy exists but seldom implemented thereby defeating the intent of legislature of minimum 3% reservation). The government on their part must provide reasonable accommodation and an enabling environment to the employees with disabilities. I am sure this will work out and we must give it a try.

Here are some stories on such undeclared blockade and court intervention that recently made headlines in Indian Express and Times of India.

Civils: Centre, state told to implement quota rules for disabled 

Aamir Khan, Indian Express, Mumbai, Thu Dec 05 2013, 11:58 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the state and Union governments to implement the rules of reservation for differently-abled candidates in civil services. The court also said the rules would apply during promotions.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by the National Confederation for Development of Disabled, stating that the People With Disabilities (PWD) Act was being violated. It sought the implementation of the rule, which provides 3 per cent reservation to disabled people in civil services recruitment. Directing the state and the Union government to implement the rule, the division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha directed that the rule be applied to the promotion of officers, who were recruited through the disabled quota.

The petition said the ratio of percentage of direct IAS to IAS by promotion or election was 67%:33% in the state at present. "Therefore, out of 100 new posts, 67 are filled by people who have been directly recruited in the IAS category and 33 posts are filled by state civil service officers. As per the PWD Act, three per cent of the posts in the IAS are reserved for such class of people. Thus, reservation should be applicable to all the 100 posts," the petition stated. It also contended that the quota for PWD had not been filled for 15 years. According to the Constitution, the authorities are under obligation to apply the provisions of the PWD Act. Granting relief to the petitioners, the HC disposed of the petition.

Source: Indian Express

Disabled people clear UPSC, but wait for service allocation

Rema Nagarajan, TNN | Dec 2, 2013, 04.55 AM IST

MUMBAI: Several persons with disabilities (PWDs) who crack one of the toughest exams in the country and get selected for the civil services are routinely rejected with the government claiming there is no suitable service for them. 

Source: Times of India, 02nd Dec 2013
They are good enough to overcome their disability and get selected for the civil services after clearing two levels of exams and the interview, but the Department of Personnel and Training, the allocating authority, rejects them and cancels their candidature.
In the last two years alone, out of 67 such candidates who got selected, 11 are still waiting to be allocated services. Many selected PWDs are allocated lower services  than their ranking merits, on the plea that the nature of their disability prevents them doing the job in most services.

So how do babus sitting in offices decide what candidates with varying levels and kinds of disabilities are capable of? The answer lies in a totally arbitrary list called "list of services identified suitable for physically disabled category along with physical requirements and functional classification" published in the gazette. It lays down what service a successful candidate with disability can get. For instance, under the category of locomotor disability, if the disability affects both hands or arms, you can get into the most sought-after Indian Administrative Service (IAS) but you would not be eligible for any of the other 23 services.

Again, the Delhi Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS) is open to those with one leg affected or whose hearing is impaired. However, there is no place for people with these or any other disability in either the Pondicherry Police Service or the Indian Police Service (IPS). How different can the job be in different police services? In an age of economic crime and cybercrime, will the police service be limited to physical fitness or brawn and not brains?

All accounts services, the Indian P&T Accounts & Finance Service, Gr.A, Indian Civil Accounts Service, Gr. A and Indian Railway Accounts Service are open someone with one arm (OA) or one leg (OL) affected or with one arm and one leg affected (OAL) and to those with both legs affected (BL). However the Indian Audit & Accounts Service Gr. A alone is not open to persons with both legs affected. Why is only this accounts service not open to people with both legs affected? Nobody seems to know.

"My disability says both legs affected. But I use crutches and can do all jobs. However, most services are closed to me because some officials who have never met me decided that if both legs are affected, I must be immobile or unable to do most jobs. It is totally unfair. This identification of service has to be done away with. Let them select us, meet us, see what we can do and allocate us services accordingly and by our ranks," says a candidate who cleared the exam earlier but will be appearing again for the civil service exam on Monday, hopeful of getting in again through the 3% quota in all services for PWDs mandated by the Disability Act 1995.

The identification of service ought to be abolished as it is discriminatory under the Disability Act and under international conventions signed by India on ensuring equal rights to the disabled, pointed out yet another PWD. 

Officials in the DoPT did not comment despite several attempts to get their version."Frankly, I am appalled that nine years after this issue was first brought to light, it remains unresolved, that too, against the express orders and directions of the Prime Minister. If the country, the government and the prime minister's office in particular wish to demonstrate their true commitment towards protecting the rights of India's disabled citizens, they ought to resolve this issue once and for all," said Javed Abidi of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP). He added that in protest against such apathy, NCPEDP will not take part in the "charade" of celebrating World Disability Day on December 3 when "speeches would be delivered, advertisements issued, and some more false promises made".

News Source: Times of India

Thursday, December 17, 1998

Supme Court: Javed Abidi Vs. Union of India | WP(C) 326 of 1997 | Dated 17.12.1998

Court:  Supreme Court of India

Bench:  K. Venkataswami, Justice and G.B. Pattanaik, Justice

Case No.:  W.P. (C) No. 326 of 1997

Case Title:  Javed Abidi vs Union of India & Others

Date of Judgement:  17 December 1998


Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection  of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 - Sections 2, 3(2), 9, 13 and 57; Constitution of India - Articles 14 & 32

In the Supreme Court of India
W.P. (C) No. 326 of 1997

Decided On: 17.12.1998

Appellants: Javed Abidi


Respondent: Union of India & Ors.

Hon'ble Judges: K. Venkataswami and G.B. Pattanaik, JJ.

Subject: Constitution

Pattanaik, J.

1.         Shri Javed Abidi has filed the present Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking direction to the Union of India to implement the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, alleging inter alia that though the Act is intended to grant opportunities to the people with disabilities for their full participation and the Act has come into operation with effect from 7.2.1996 but no effective steps are being taken for implementation of the provisions of the Act. 

The petitioner himself is an orthopaedically impaired person and has incurred the disability within the meaning of Section 2(i)(v) of the Act. He appeared in person in this Court and successfully presented his case indicating several infirmities as well as callousness of the different organisations of the State in implementing the provisions of the Act. In the Writ Petition the petitioner prayed for the following reliefs :-

"(a) Direct the Indian Airlines to immediately provide for aisle chairs in every aircraft;

(b) Direct the Indian Airlines to provide ambulift in all the airports of the country;

(c) Direct the Indian Airlines to provide 50% concession to all the disabled persons as defined in Section 2(I) of the Act because to provide this concession only to visually impaired persons is discriminatory and directly violative of the fundamental rights of the other disabled, as guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution of India;

(d) Direct the Central Government to appoint only disabled persons defined under Section 2(I) of the Act as per the provisions of Section 3(2)(I) and not to include any other person who is not a disabled person under the Act;

(e) Direct the Union of India to immediately appoint the Chief Commissioner and Commissioners as per Section 57 of the Act;

(f) Direct the Central Government to immediately constitute the Central Executive Committee as defined under Section 9 of the Act;

(g) Direct all the States of the country to form their own State Coordination Committee as defined under Section 13 of the Act;

(h) Direct all the State Governments to immediately constitute their respective State Executive Committee for the implementation of the Act;

(i)Direct the State Government to appoint a Commissioner for their States for proper implementation of the Act in the States of the Country"

As one of the grievances of the petitioner was that the Central Government has not constituted the Central Co-ordination Committee under Section 3 of the Act and States also have not constituted the State Co-ordination Committees as required under Section 13 of the Act, this Court issued notice to all the State Governments and the Union Territories by order dated 20th October, 1997, to get responses from them. Pursuant to the aforesaid notice the Union of India through its Secretary in the Ministry of Welfare Department filed an affidavit on 30th September, 1997, indicating the steps taken by the Union Government for implementation of the provisions of the Act including the Constitution of the Central Committee under Section 3 thereof. Different States also filed their respective affidavits indicating the constitution of the State Co-ordination Committees under Section 13. In view of the constitution of the Central Co-ordination Committee as well as the State Co-ordination Committees in most of the States. 

We do not think any further direction is necessary in that regard, but, we hope and trust that the respective Committees will discharge their obligation under the Act so as to achieve the objectives for which the Act has been enacted. It may be borne in mind that the Economic and Social Commission for Asian and Pacific Region held a meeting at Beijing on 1st to 5th December, 1992, and adopted the Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Region and India is a signatory to the said Proclamation. The Act in question was passed by the Parliament which intends to provide for the following as apparent from the Statements of Objects and Reasons:

"(i) to spell out the responsibility of the State towards the prevention of disabilities, protection of rights, provision of medical care, education, training, employment and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities;

(ii) to create barrier free environment for persons with disabilities;

(iii) to remove any discrimination against persons with disabilities in the sharing of development benefits, vis-a-vis non-disabled persons;

(iv) to counteract any situation of the abuse and the exploitation of persons with disabilities;

(v) to lay down strategies for comprehensive development of programmes and services and equalisation of opportunities for persons with disabilities; and

(vi) to make special provision for the integration of persons with disabilities into the social mainstream."

The Committees constituted by the Central Government as well as by the respective State Governments must, therefore, make earnest endeavour to achieve the objectives, as indicated above, in exercise of their powers conferred under the Act.

2.         The petitioner also made a specific grievance in the Writ Petition alleging the lack of facilities like providing aisle chair and ambulift by the Indian Airlines which according to the petitioner is a social obligation of the Airlines and the said Airlines must provide these minimum facilities to permit easy excess to the disabled persons particularly those who are orthopaedically impaired and suffer from locomotor disability. The Indian Airlines in course of the hearing of this Writ Petition indicated the steps taken by it in relation to providing of aisle chair in the aircraft and providing ambulift at different airports. Initially Indian Airlines had indicated that providing ambulift at major airports would be a costly affair but in its last affidavit filed in this Court it has been indicated that the major airports are going to be provided with ambulift and aisle chairs are now available in aircrafts to be used by disabled persons. Having considered the affidavits filed by the Indian Airlines we are satisfied that effective steps have been taken in that regard and it is not necessary for issuing any further direction on that aspect.

3.         One of the major grievances of the petitioner is that the Indian Airlines is not giving any concession to such disabled persons for their movement by air even though such concessions are being given to only blind persons, who are also disabled persons under the Act. According to Mr. Abidi, the petitioner in this case, orthopaedically handicapped persons with locomotor disability require the relief of concession for their travel by air more as it becomes an impossible task for them to travel from one corner to the other corner of the country by train and there is no justification for the airlines not to grant such concession to such people when the concession is made available to the blind people. Mr. Soli J. Sorabjee, the learned Attorney General appearing for the Indian Airlines on the other hand impressed upon the Court that the concession to the blind people was being given much prior to the commencement of the Act. 

According to Mr. Sorabjee, the learned Attorney General the economic condition of the Indian Airlines is such that it is not feasible to grant any further concession to any other category of disabled people and the Act itself postulates for providing facilities to the disabled persons within the limits of economic capacity. Detailed affidavits have been filed indicating the present economic position of the Indian Airlines. It has also been indicated in the said affidavits that the airlines is now reconsidering the question to withdraw such facilities to several group of citizens or to move the respective departments of the Government to get the re-imbursement.
4.        According to Mr. Sorabjee granting such concession to only disabled persons suffering from locomotor disability may be construed to be a discriminatory attitude towards them and, therefore, the Court should not issue such direction, but he does not dispute the fact that blindness is one of the disability under Section 2(i) of the Act and the Airlines is granting concession for travelling by air to those suffering from the disability of blindness. While we agree with Mr. Sorabjee, learned Attorney General that the economic capacity is a germane consideration while deciding the question as to whether all persons suffering from disability as defined under Section 2(i) of the Act should be granted concession like blind persons for travelling by air, at the same time we cannot ignore the true spirit and object with which the Act was enacted. To create barrier-free environment for persons with disability and to make special provision for the integration of persons with disabilities into the social mainstream apart from the protection of rights, provision of medical care, education, training, employment and rehabilitation are some of the prime objectives of the Act.

In this context the question that arises for consideration is whether at least persons suffering from locomotor disability to a particular extent can be granted the facility of concession while travelling by air which facility is already being given to those suffering from the disability of blindness. When we consider the different types of disabilities mentioned in Section 2(i) of the Act and examine the same in relation to the difficulties one may face by travelling by train to far off places, say from Delhi to Trivandrum, those who are suffering from locomotor disability would stand by a separate class itself because of their imobility and the restriction of the limbs. 

It may not be difficult for a person with low vision or a person with hearing impairment or mental retardation or a person suffering from leprosy to travel by train even to far off places whereas a person suffering from locomotor disability above certain percentage of the same will find enormous difficulty in travelling by train or bus. We are considering the question of such disabled persons in the context of granting them the facility of concession for travelling by air.

Having considered the affidavits filed by different parties and having considered the submissions made by Mr. Sorabjee appearing for Indian Airlines as well as Mr. Abidi, petitioner in person and bearing in mind the discomfort and harassment a person suffering from locomotor disability would face while travelling by train particularly to far off places we are inclined to issue direction to the Indian Airlines to grant them the same concession which the Airlines is giving to those suffering from blindness. But each and every person suffering from such disability would not be entitled to get the concession in question as it would depend upon the degree of disability.

We think it appropriate to direct that those suffering from the aforesaid locomotor disability to the extent of 80% and above would be entitled to the concession from the Indian Airlines for travelling by air within the country at the same rate as has been given to those suffering from blindness on their furnishing the necessary certificate from the Chief District Medical Officer to the effect that the person concerned is suffering the disability to the extent of 80%. Such District Medical Officer wherein the disabled ordinarily reside will constitute a Board with Specialist in Orthopaedic and one other Specialist whom he thinks suitable for the purpose and examine the person and would grant necessary certificate for that purpose.

We are quite conscious of the financial position of the Indian Airlines but yet we are issuing the aforesaid direction keeping in view the broad objectives of the Act, as already narrated, and keeping in view the fact that concession is already being granted by the Airlines to the persons suffering from blindness. With these directions and observations the Writ Petition is disposed of.

5.        Before we conclude the matter we cannot but thank the petitioner who appeared in person and brought this matter to the notice of the Court which resulted in acceleration of the implementation of different provisions of the Act not only by the Union Government but also by the State Governments.