Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Bombay HC Legislation for disabled persons must be applied not just remain on paper

Bombay HC: Legislation for disabled persons must be applied, not just remain on paper

Updated on: 28 February,2024 04:51 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Bombay HC's observation came during the hearing of a visually impaired woman's plea challenging the cancellation of her candidature for a Railway job.

Bombay HC: Legislation for disabled persons must be applied, not just remain on paper

Bombay High Court/ File Photo

The Bombay High Court has said that laws for people with disabilities should not only exist on the statute books but should also be implemented with compassion and flexibility by all authorities.

A division bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and MM Sathaye, on Tuesday,  directed the railway recruitment cell to process the candidature of a visually challenged woman for the position of assistant in the railways within six weeks, overriding the cancellation of her candidature, reported PTI. 

According to the report, the court noted that the case revealed administrative apathy and that it potentially undermined provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016, which is intended to help people with disabilities.

The petitioner, Shanta Sonawane, appealed against the cancellation of her candidature due to an inaccuracy in the birth year listed on her form.

Per the PTI report, HC noted that in August last year, when the plea was first taken up for hearing, the court had directed Railways to keep one post vacant pending final disposal of Sonawane's plea and had directed the authorities to reconsider her case. However, the authorities said her candidature was unacceptable due to the pursuant error.

The court emphasised the necessity of justice in dealing with people with impairments, citing affirmative action and equal chances. It emphasised that people with disabilities may need changes and accommodations to fulfil their special needs, and errors caused by their disability should not lead to discrimination, the report further stated. 

According to the report, the court noted that rejecting Sonawane's request and refusing to correct the error would be a violation of the equality principle and a failure to meet the Act's requirements. The court reprimanded the authorities' rigid stance, encouraging them to be more sensitive and flexible towards disabled people.

"The legislation for the disabled should not merely remain in the statute book; rather, the spirit behind the legislation must be applied by all authorities in its practical application showing appropriate sensitivity and flexibility," the HC said.

The court further stated, "Individuals, such as Sonawane, who are 100 per cent visually impaired, cannot be expected to stand on an equal footing with other candidates in terms of usual activities. The Act of 2016 not only mandates ensuring equal opportunities for people with disabilities but also making necessary adjustments to meet their specific needs."

The court, further noting that visually impaired persons may make mistakes due to their disability or their need to rely on others, said, "These errors, stemming from their disability, should not result in discrimination or unfair treatment by employers. Rejecting the applications and then refusing to rectify the mistakes would contravene the principle of equality."

"By refusing Sonawane's plea, the authorities, who were expected to handle the situation with sensitivity and flexibility, have failed to discharge their obligation under the Act. We therefore find that the rigid stand taken by the respondents is unduly oppressive and harsh and violates the objective of the Act of 2016," the bench said

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Do you like to try Irani cafes in Mumbai?

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK