Showing posts with label WP No. 38224 of 2005. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WP No. 38224 of 2005. Show all posts

Monday, August 8, 2022

Madras HC | PIL titled Rajiv Rajan Vs. The MTC(C)L & Ors on implementation of PWD Act 1995


Case No. WP No. 38224 of 2005

Case Title: Rajiv Rajan  Vs Chairman and Managing Director, Metropolitan Transport Corpn (Chennai) Ltd. and 3 others.

Sub: PIL for Accessible and Disabled friendly  Public Infratructure, Railways Stations, Buses, Bus Shelters, Publlic Toilets, Metro Rail etc.  


Rajiv Rajan                                                         .. Petitioner 


1.The Chairman and Managing Director Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai) Ltd., An Undertaking of the Government of Tamil Nadu Pallavan House, Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002 

2.The Commissioner Corporation of Chennai, Ripon Building, Chennai 600 003 

3.The State Co-ordination Committee, Rep. By Chairperson Secretary, Department of Social Welfare Government of Tamil Nadu Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009 

4.The Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, 15/1, Model School Road Thousand Lights, Chennai 600 006                                                 .. Respondents


This Writ petition was filed by our colleague Mr. Rajiv Rajan, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the respondents more particularly respondents 1 and 2 to implement “The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” in its spirit by providing user friendly transport, access and barrier free environment in the public places giving access to the usage of transport system.

The court passed comprehensive order on 02.03.2006 and thereafter the matter has been kept live for follow ups. 

On 10-9-2014, the bench of  Mr. Sanjay Kishan Kaul, The Chief Justice and Mr. Justie M. Sathyanarayanan disposed off the matter in terms of order already passed on 2.3.2006. However, the bench directed the Governemnt to file compliance report every month setting out what action they have taken under Sections 44 to 46 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, separately in that 3 month to comply with the directions. The matter was thus to be listed every month for compliance.

On 06.04 2016 the Learned Amicus suggested that for the time being, the issue which we are required to address is the lack of improvement by Metro Transport Corporation (MTC) and State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) in introducing buses which are disabled friendly. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for the MTC and SETC submited that though initially there was some restraint in respect of procuring buses, it had been observed that there may be some buses procured dedicated for the use of persons with special needs, but the passengers found travelling in such buses were few. 

The bench however was of the view that any steps to be taken for the benefit of the persons with special needs has to be inclusive in character. The idea cannot be to have separate buses, but buses which are used daily by passengers meeting the requirement of Persons with special needs. It is not possible to predetermine the route to be travelled, the destination to be reached etc., by introducing buses only for certain routes which are disabled friendly. The objective has to be, over a period of time, to make sure all the buses in use meet the requirement of people with special needs. This can only happen if procurement of such buses which are meant to cater to the people with special needs, as otherwise what has happened would continue to happen – introducing of new buses in the fleets which still do not meet the requirement of the people with special needs. 

The court thus directed that any new buses to be introduced in the fleets must meet the requirement of the people with special needs and as per the norms in consultation with the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. In determining whether a bus is disabled friendly, inter alia, it has to be ensured that there is easy access for boarding and alighting.

On 28.06.2016, The court expressed, "the necessity of new buses meeting the requirement of persons with special needs as per norm and consultation with the Commission for Persons with Disabilities cannot be doubted. However, what is sought to be projected is that in some of the routes, a bus shelter may not be conducive to the ingress and egress for such buses. If that be the position, the first respondent, can always address the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Chennai/2nd respondent which would be mandated to make the necessary adjustments. It has also been stated that a policy decision would have to be taken by the Government, as the first respondent has no funds even to buy buses. In this behalf, all that we can say is that at some stage, the State Government would have to take a call as to how the first respondent is to be managed financially, if it wants the Corporation to continue. There can be buses already on the way out as per norms and we are conscious of the fact that it may be difficult to convert the existing buses and therefore our direction is for buses procured in future to comply with the requirements, so that over a period of time, all buses will become compliant.

on 05.07.2022, the bench directed that a copy of the compliance reports filed in W.P.No. 923 of 2007 shall be kept in this writ petition for reference. And on next date of hearing i.e. 02.08.2022, the Bench of Chief Justice and Justice N. Mala, ordered the matter to be closed based on compliance reports being filed by the Govt.